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Ethical Dilemmas

©Ruth Marlene Friesen

In this world, doing business online or offline, we constantly run into ethical dilemmas. Our conscience stops us in mid-step to remind us that something in this situation is at cross purposes with what we believe and are fully, or vaguely committed to.

What if you are in a situation where you are;
- selling something your conscience says is wrong
- see another person doing wrong, unlawful things
- tempted to cheat or break rules
- some involvement leads to greed, pride or despair
- regretting a signup or words written and afraid to apologize.
- offered gifts with strings (conditions) attached.

What to do?

It is hard to avoid things like horoscopes and New Age materials, for example, but if your conscience troubles you, you need to obey, for our conscience is a function of our spirit, and it is hearing that prompt from the Spirit of God. It may not trouble someone else, but obey it for your own good.

If you see another person lying, spamming or deceiving others, the Bible says we are to speak to that person alone and show them the light. If that person persists after that, God will not hold us accountable, but He will if we keep quiet, when others are being victimized most especially.

If you are tempted to cheat or break rules you have not sinned - yet. Smart thing to do is to get out of that situation as quickly as possible, or set yourself high fences and policies to protect yourself from seeing and yielding in the future. And if the internet leads you irresistibly to sites and activities that are not good, if you submit to the will of God, He may easily direct you to ban yourself from the internet.

Can you stand humbly before God and look honestly at your motives? If promoting affiliate programs leads you to greed or pride or despair it is time to collapse in tears of remorse, repent and ask God to cleanse you. Even believers, though God promises to make us new creatures in Christ Jesus, sometimes cannot stand up to temptation and need to take a different road altogether.

If you regret signing up for something, or some words you wrote in an email - it is an opportunity to practice humility. Apologize. Resolve and learn to pause and pray before you do those things again, or any time your conscience causes you to hesitate.

Another ethical dilemma may come when offered gifts or prizes. Generally I've had a policy of accepting all gifts as from the Lord, assuming He prompted the giving of them. In the past year I've had more than one situation where I had an ethical choice to make. I took time to pray and did the unusual; I turned them down because of the implications.

It is safe to say that if you want to always make sound, ethical decisions it is very important to draw closer to Jesus, and to spend time in the Bible, becoming very familiar with how God thinks and feels about many things. Your conscience will become sensitive and finely tuned to recognize what is right and what is wrong, and your devotion to the Lord, will motivate you to want to do the right, just because it pleases Him. Or, because you are horrified at the thought of wounding Him who loves you so!

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Ruth Marlene Friesen

Ruth Marlene Friesen
The Responsible One

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