A home improvement con artist swindled a 100 year-old blind woman. He rang the woman's bell, unsolicited, to offer to do any repair work needed. The woman told him that for years she had struggled with a door that was difficult to open because it rubbed against the rug. To fix the problem, she agreed to pay the man $8,000, to jack up her house.
2 Corinthians 1:12--For this is our confidence: The testimony of our conscience is that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with God-given sincerity and purity, not by fleshly wisdom but by God’s grace.
Ethics is defined as a system of moral principles essential in guiding a person to do the correct thing that includes trustworthiness, respect, dependability, fairness, caring, citizenship, and honesty. God built in each of us a moral compass that allows us to determine right from wrong. But knowing that our conscience was not enough, He also gave us His word which clearly spells out what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior and conduct in His sight. Ethics encompasses those moral principles which are meant to steer us in how we should live.
So why is this important? Does it seem to you that increasingly we live in a world content and perhaps even focused on blurring the line between right and wrong? Does it seem to you that commitment, loyalty, integrity, mercy and evenhandedness are increasingly lost to convenience, disloyalty, dishonesty, cruelty and shrewd manipulation? A reporter for India Times notes most qualified doctors do not teach medical ethics to medical students in college. As institutions in the U.S. and other nations disdain the need to teach ethics is it any surprise that there are financial, business and moral scandals among leaders and employees who should know better?
So what do we do? Those of us who are older must teach our children and the younger generations the meaning and importance of ethics. As Christians we are called to be salt and light. Our example is to reflect the moral principles God expects. When we live out those principles we offer the world a direct example of Jesus and the value of holiness. Without a godly emphasis on truth the world quickly descends into bottomless quicksand.
Fortunately, we have great scriptural material to share with anyone willing to listen. It was David who refused to kill King Saul even though the evil king was bent on destroying him. “Afterwards, David's conscience bothered him because he had cut off the corner of Saul's robe”(1 Samuel 24:5). David would later write, “I will praise the LORD who counsels me-even at night my conscience instructs me” (Psalm 16:7). It was Paul, the stalwart follower of Christ who proclaimed, “I always do my best to have a clear conscience toward God and men”(Acts 24:16). “Instead, we have renounced shameful secret things, not walking in deceit or distorting God's message, but in God's sight we commend ourselves to every person's conscience by an open display of the truth” (2 Co. 4:2).
Ethics matter. Jesus came to live out holiness so we would see how Adam should have lived and be freed from his curse.
If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.—Marcus Aurelius
Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.—John Wesley
©2008 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)