Summary: You don’t have the power to be ethical until you have made a life-choice to be ethical.
“Tell the truth to your neighbor as you expect him to tell you the truth” (Luke 6:13, ELT).
1. You must choose to always do right.
a. When corrupt business executives had an opportunity to make millions, they did it because they never made a decision to be ethical.
b. If you wait until the opportunity to steal a million dollars faces you and you haven’t made a decision not to steal, the gold and greed will be so great that you will steal.
c. The question is not whether you will get caught; the question is “are you an honest person?”
d. Do you steal because you have a selfish heart or do you live honestly because you have chosen to live honestly? Honesty is a choice, not a natural growth sequence in life.
2. You will never be an ethical person until you make a life-choice to be an ethical person.
WRONG DECISIONS ABOUT ETHICS
? I can be ethical some of the time.
? I can be ethical in some places.
? I’ll just let God make me ethical.
? When I am not ethical “the devil made me do it.”
3. You don’t have the power to be ethical until you have made a life-choice to be ethical.
WRONG IDEAS ABOUT CHEATING
? No one sees me and no one will know.
? I will fail if I don’t.
? Everyone (parents, friends, teacher, etc.) expects me to pass.
? You cheat because you have never made a life-choice to be honest.
4. What people are not ethical?
a. Ethics is considered a negative subject.
b. Ethics is a luxury in “me-first” society.
c. Business ethics miss the point; it’s about enduring punishment by the law.
d. Courses are ethical flea dip, but the dog gets fleas again.
e. People who steal office supplies expect their company to have ethical stock offers.
5. What is the heart of ethics?
a. People must live honestly with themselves before they will live honestly with others.
b. To be ethical you must first have a standard to follow and second the will to follow.
c. So you must first know the standard and second, commit to the standard.
6. What is the universal standard of ethics?
a. Christianity: “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Luke 6:13).
b. Islam: No one is a believer until he has love for his neighbor what he loves for himself.
c. Judaism: What is harmful to you, do not do to your fellow man.
d. Buddhism: Hurt not others with that which pains you.
e. Hinduism: Do naught unto others what you would not have them do to you.
f. Zoroastrianism: Whatever is disagreeable to yourself, do not do unto others.
g. Confucianism: What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
7. Applying an ethical standard.
a. Universal. No one wants to be treated worse than they treat others.
b. Can we treat people ethically based on their talent?
c. Can we treat people ethically based on their politics or belief?
d. Can we treat people ethically based on their physical appearance?
e. The Golden Rule makes an intangible standard into an objective rule.
f. Ethics become a win-win situation.
8. What you get by being ethical. Confidence.
9. Now: I will always do the right thing in the right way.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
All PBC lessons are available online at trbc.org/pbc. Go to www.Hopenow.tv for the current program schedule.
Dr. Towns' email is ELTowns@liberty.edu
Dr. Towns’ web address is www.elmertowns.com