Personal Ethics

Experts have difficulty defining ethics (Vesilin, 1998). Even in our contemporary society, most leaders understand the importance of ethics but they are not willing to uniformly define it (Lewis 1985). For me, ethics is not simply following a set of do’s and don’ts. It is a lifestyle prescribed by following a standard based on biblical principles, and followed by a moral compass that is embedded in Christian wisdom, consecrated reason, and guided by the Holy Spirit.

My ethic is not merely a biblical ethic, as many would think that of a minister. Limiting my ethical position on just the Bible would be difficult, as many of the ethical codes found in Scripture address a different cultural mindset, such as, stoning an adulterous woman caught in the act of adultery (I often wondered how these men knew she was an adulterer). That does not mean that I do not gain wisdom for them. AfterImage all, you do not throw the baby out with the bath water. This is where the Holy Spirit enters, as He works in tandem with biblical teaching, consecrated reason and the best experience of the Christian community, is able to assist us in realizing our true humanity in Christ, which is the idea that Paul presented to the Church in Ephesus. They were to mature in the faith, grow in their knowledge of Chirstlikeness, to speak the truth in love, working together out of their giftedness, which promotes growth because of the love for each other. (Eph. 4:13-16).

The ethical position that I have does not veer off the path of many ethical paths. For example, According to Lewis (1985), people tend to utilize cultural experience, religious and philosophical beliefs of what is right or wrong. This can work well or it can cause conflict.  There are those that are convinced that moral behavior cannot be part of an ethical code, as the corporation or business is not human, and morals are a human action (Lewis, 1985). I disagree with this. One cannot have ethics without morals; therefore, a company or organization cannot have ethics without a moral code of conduct. Most ethicists understand that morals play a decisive role in the ethical behavior of individuals (Johnson, 1952). The source that guides my ethics, may be different on some levels, but in the end, they provide the same results.

 

Johnson, C. E.  (1952). Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership: Casting Light or Shadow. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Lewis, P. V. (1985). Defining ‘business ethics’: Like nailing jello to a wall. Journal of Business Ethics, 4(5), 377-383. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=5403924&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Vesilind, P. A., (1998). Rules, ethics and morals in engineering education. Engineering Education, 78(5), 289-293. Retrieved from http://scholar.google.com

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