Life’s Toughest Decision
By Jack Zavada
Contrary to what many men think, life's toughest decision is not whether to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. It's whether to stay faithful to Christ.
Being born again is a relatively simple act, although the road leading up to it may be plenty rocky. Some men find it difficult to profess their decision in front of a crowd of people in a church. But once that's done, the hard part begins.
On the surface, staying faithful to Christ looks like thousands of individual decisions. The truth is that when you commit to following the Savior, it's just the same decision over and over again: "Do I stay faithful to Jesus, or do I do this thing—which I know is outside his will for my life."
Pressure in the Workplace
If you work for a living—and nearly all of us do—that choice comes up far more often than you'd like. On some jobs it's every day.
The workplace has undergone massive changes over the past few decades. As foreign competition increases and many tasks are outsourced, ethics can get blurred. What once seemed a simple right-wrong decision has turned into right-wrong-gray area somewhere in between.
The most blatant example is a pharmaceutical company that continues to sell one of its prescription products when upper management knows there is a health risk to patients. Millions, perhaps billions of dollars went into research and development, and the company has to recover those costs. But what about those people who may die from taking the drug?
Most of us aren't faced with such monumental choices. Our workplace decisions probably fall into the category of the corner butcher who puts his thumb on the scale to increase the price. That may seem funny, but even small acts of dishonesty are like termites eating away at your soul.
Is Christianity incompatible with today's business climate? Is a businessman who lives by the Golden Rule a sucker, a naïve person who'll be forced to inhabit the lower rungs of the corporate ladder all his life? That's where life's toughest decision comes in.
Men of true integrity seem so few and far between today that we can't name even a half dozen of them. Colin Powell comes to mind immediately. Outside of the ministry, can you think of five others? Hard, isn't it?
So do you, as a Christian man, have to sacrifice success to follow Jesus Christ?
I don't think you do. I think you make life's toughest decision, then you show others that you will not waver from it through your words and your actions. At some point in your career you have to make it clear what you will and will not stand for.
More Integrity, Fewer Toys
A company that's dishonest with customers and turns a blind eye when its employees lie or cheat is not a place where you want to work. If it's the only game in town, it's time to make life's toughest decision: "Am I serious enough about Christ to go to another town?"
Maybe you'll have to forego a house and garage full of "toys" to do the right thing. But Jesus wasn't engaging in idle speculation when he asked, "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" (Matthew 16:26 NIV)
Pastor and Bible teacher Charles Stanley often quotes front porch advice that his grandfather, George Washington Stanley, once gave him: "Obey God, and leave all the consequences to him."
That kind of trust in God takes courage—the courage of a real man. The kind of man your kids will look up to. The kind of man your wife will admire. The kind of man who will someday stand before Jesus Christ and hear him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."