Compromise In the Workplace: How Far Should You Go?

June 28th 2013 No comments yet  

Compromise in the Workplace Ever since I switched my ill-fated biology major to mass communications the summer after my freshman year in college, I’ve dreamed of a career in sports media. I like covering games, and I love writing columns, but it’s my dream to host a major morning drive radio show. Getting paid to sit in a room and talk about sports while it gets broadcast to thousands of people. You know that old line about finding the right job and not working a day in your life? I would feel like I was stealing my salary in that job.

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed an unsavory trend that permeates the industry: it’s dominated by sleaze.

Don’t get me wrong: there’s certainly a place for monkey business in an industry that’s meant to entertain. It’s when sports radio shows interview porn stars, do remote broadcasts from “inappropriate” restaurants, and poke fun at people suffering from ALS that I start to have reservations about entering the field. It also begs the question: How would I navigate this job as a Christian? Is it even possible?

This is a line many of you who are not employed at a church toe every day. Businessmen encounter shoddy ethics in the name of profit, defense lawyers have to work to set guilty people free, and science teachers are forced to teach theories with which they don’t agree. How are we supposed to balance the job we were hired to do with our convictions?

Ephesians 6:7 tells us “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” It’s quite clear that we cannot separate our work and spiritual lives. Your office isn’t quarantined from your faith because we are to honor God in the work we do. I can’t do that by succumbing to the seedy culture that surrounds sports radio.

I came to this conclusion when I realized sports radio was my goal: I’ll establish my line early and not cross it. This is simplistic in theory, but complicated in practice. What happens when I’m an intern, and the hosts of the show are sleazebags? Do I smile and go along with it to save my job and potentially my shot for advancement? What happens when I get my own show, and my producer books a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model for an interview? Or when a strip club buys an advertisement, and the manager of the station wants me to voice the commercial?

Many of us face questions like this in our workplace. Most of them probably aren’t even that black and white. Most employers aren’t going to be interested in your spiritual walk, and there are certainly rules you have to follow in any workplace. As a result, balancing your faith and your responsibilities can be a gray-area minefield. How do we as Christians respond?

Here’s mine: Live your life no differently at work than you do at home or at church. No facet of our life can escape God’s influence, and work is certainly no exception. No job, not even your dream job, is worth compromising your relationship with the Lord, and trying to isolate your work from the rest of your life isn’t biblically feasible. Everything we do in life is for the glory of God; He’s the only boss whose opinion matters.

Something I’ll keep in mind when TK in the A.M. is the highest rated radio show in Dallas.


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