How often have you heard the phrase “it’s not personal, it’s just business?” I have heard it more than I care to in my career. Maybe it’s just my industry, where opportunity for wealth is great so that the lines of morality and ethics are blurred. Wealth is not guaranteed, however, so I’m not sure why people put so much stock into it to begin with.
I can’t go into detail and use the numerous examples of when I’ve heard or lived out this phrase in my career. I’d have to spend a bit of time explaining the areas of the industry and I’m afraid it would be quite boring. Frankly, I don’t think I have to go too deep. I know this phrase isn’t privy to one industry only. It’s said in HR rooms across the globe when people get laid off or fired. It’s repeated in numerous executives offices when something is done, or thought about being done, that’s borderline unethical or unfriendly.
My problem with living out this phrase, is that it’s as if people believe we can separate our work self from our personal self when we stand before God. It’s as if people are under the belief that God will turn a blind eye on the way they conducted themselves while at work and open his eyes on how the person treats their spouse and children. It doesn’t work that way.
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. – Luke 16:10
That passage from Luke doesn’t have quotes “except at work” anywhere. There’s no work Jamie and home Jamie. I’m not allowed to tell little white lies all over God’s green acre at work to make more money or promote my company to come home and be perfect. As a matter of fact, if I act like a complete Neanderthal at work, it’s certain that I will eventually become one at home too… or become something else as I try to balance a Jekyll Hyde persona.
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him… – 1 John 2:4
Again, John doesn’t make exceptions for work.
We see this in politics too. It’s astounding how messy our politics are. What amazes me even more are people who get so wrapped up into politics and believe what those paid hands have to say. It’s all just a puppet show to get someone in office. It’s widely accepted that politics are not to be trusted nor anything that comes out of their mouths during campaign time to be believed. I don’t think the Bible makes exceptions for politics either.
Right now my children are learning about “Contentment” and I believe my post ties into it as well. The reason why people lie to get ahead at work is for prestige, power and money. None of those things are secure. People’s opinions of others waver, companies go out of business, natural disasters happen and wipe out businesses and homes, and our financial institutions are unstable at best. The only thing constant in our life is God. That’s it. Why jeopardize our forever home for something insecure and temporary?
Yet, people do it… it’s a societal norm to live out one way at work to turn around and attempt to be someone else at home. People cannot live to be content with what God has given them. They want more and better things. They want what this earth has to offer. Let’s not be like that. Let us not be hypocrites! Let us go to sleep each night with a clear conscious knowing that we are loving our Lord both at home and in our work by honoring his commands.