Most people would agree that how we achieve results matters, but not everyone agrees on what defines the standard. Many would agree that it is based on applicable laws and regulations. That is a good start as a minimum reference point, but laws written by men often do not sufficiently or correctly (consistent with God’s word) define a standard for ethics and morality.
The only true and unchanging standard of ethics and morality is the one defined by God and documented throughout the Bible. This standard is higher than just “can we” do something within the laws of men, but instead builds to “should we, even if we can legally”.
- Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold.
- Proverbs 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; he who guards himself will be far from them.
- Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
By clearly defining what you consider to be acceptable ethical behavior ahead of time, you will have a much easier time making the right decision later when confronted with the opportunity to choose an unethical option that seems to offer profit.
For example, you may have an opportunity to make money by selling a product to people and getting a commission. However, you have to decide if you will really consider your clients and their needs… when your product will actually benefit them… or if you are willing to sell it to them at all costs, even by lying to them about the product or trying to make them fearful of not buying your product.
Don’t wait until you are in the moment to decide what your standard will be, it is too easy to make the wrong choice.
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