COMMITMENT

The Steward and Ethics

Centuries ago a friend of Jesus came to a crossroads experience with God. Things weren’t turning out as well as he had hoped. He had spent time with Jesus—a lot of time. They traveled and dined

together. He was a religious man and he had seen some amazing miracles at the

hand of Jesus. In fact, he had

received from Jesus the authority to cast demons out of others. What he did not

know, what he would not recognize, was that he, himself, had a demon. Eventually that demon would destroy him

but not before others were hurt.

It didn’t have to be that way!



He felt a desire to be changed in character and wanted to connect with Jesus but he did not come to the point of surrendering himself fully to Christ. He cultivated a disposition to criticize and accuse.

In the book, The Desire of Ages, pp.

716-722, Ellen White shares some insights about Judas. Of the one who betrayed Jesus she says, Judas had not always been corrupt enough to do such a deed. He had an insatiable appetite for money until it had become a ruling

motive of his life.



He felt a desire to be changed in character and wanted to connect with

Jesus but he did not come to the point of surrendering himself fully to Christ. He cultivated a disposition to criticize and accuse.



He looked upon his brethren as greatly inferior. He saw himself as the one with business

acumen . . . the one they really needed.

For Judas, material solutions were the logical solutions—not the kind

Jesus offered in His sermon regarding the bread of life.

Feeling highly qualified but unappreciated, he paid himself from the

meager funds gathered for the poor because of the time he spent in service for

others.



Judas was dominated with

thoughts about himself—his perceived ethics, his ideas, his disappointments,

his hurts and his frustrations. His worldview was no bigger than himself. It was all about him! He had not learned to give of himself

or of his means without expecting something in return. In the end, the path Judas followed led

to his own destruction.



Dee Hock, founder and CEO of

the Visa credit card noted four character traits that can not only destroy

individuals but also take down organizations (Birth

of the Chaordic Age,
p. 193). These four traits are:



1. Ego: A strong sense of

“self-importance.”

2. Envy: A feeling of

discontentment because of the possession, qualities, or luck experienced by others.

3. Greed/Avarice: This is manifested by an extreme greed for wealth or

material gain.

4. Ambition: Characterized by a determination to achieve success or

possessions at any price.



The moral fiber of an individual matters if the company is to have an ethical culture”

The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse—How to Spot Moral Meltdowns in Companies Before It’s Too Late

Marianne Jennings, an attorney

who is internationally known for her work in the area of corporate ethics (The Seven Signs of Ethical

Collapse—How to Spot Moral Meltdowns in Companies Before It’s Too Late
)

warns of a principle that, if neglected, can have a devastating impact on an

organization. That principle

simply stated is, “The moral fiber of an individual matters if the company is

to have an ethical culture” (p.135).



Decades before, Ellen White

presented a similar thought: “True Christian principle will not stop to weigh

consequences. It does not ask, ‘What will people think of me if I do this? Or

how will it affect my worldly prospects if I do that? With the most intense

longing the children of God desire to know what He would have them do, that

their works may glorify Him” (My

Life Today,
p. 256).

A guiding ethical principle was

simply stated by Jesus in Matthew 7:12, “So in everything, do to others what

you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Larry Evans

Associate Director

GC Stewardship Ministries,

Editor, Dynamic

Steward

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