By Darrel Geis, Righteousness vs. Compromise
Over my 23 years the Christian Blue Pages, I’ve had the opportunity to observe Christians – in hundreds of situations – taking a stand for righteousness in their businesses. In situations where compromising one’s values might be expedient and beneficial to the “bottom line”, or unnoticeable to a watching world, it is critical that we as Christians in business do what’s right in the eyes of God.
I found myself in one such situation many years ago while training a new sales representative on our team. I invited this new rep along to an appointment with an existing advertiser, and things were going smoothly as I presented to the client a solid case to significantly increase their coverage in our network.
The advertiser agreed to the proposal, and I began to fill out the renewal contract. Just as the client was ready to sign, I asked the standard “pre-qualification” question our staff is required to ask — “Do you still attend (your local) church”? The client shared with me that about six months ago prior, they began opening their repair shop on Sundays, and they hadn’t been to church since.
While going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, it is a good indicator of one’s faith. It is also one of the 3 qualifications that we as an organization have committed to uphold as a “litmus test” for advertising (the others being, most importantly, “faith in Christ” and “operating according to biblical principles”).
I was faced with the decision – do I hold fast to our advertising requirements, or bend the rules on this “minor deal” with someone in whom I had a relationship, and head back to the office with a sizable order? In this constant struggle between righteousness and compromise, the question facing me was this, “Will I uphold God’s standards of conduct at work, or succumb to the standards of the world?”
As our new rep looked on, I pulled the advertiser aside, shared from my heart that they should “not forsake the gathering together” (Hebrews 10:25), and that I was ultimately more concerned for their spiritual growth than I was for their business growth. I retracted the order, prayed for them, and encouraged them to contact me once they started going to church again.
Many years later, I still have not heard back from that client, but I have been able to share this story over and over while training our new reps. By following this example, I believe our company has been protected, in our pre-qualification of potential advertisers, from those who might instead be “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. We’ve been blessed because of the commitment by our staff to uphold these standards, seek God, and pray for wisdom. So be encouraged — one seemingly small decision can make a very big difference.
“Do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
If you feel lead to share your own story of a “righteousness vs. compromise” work life moment, please leave a comment.