How Do Christian Men Live Without Compromise in a World of Temptation?
From Jack Zavada
As a Christian man, how can you live your faith without compromise in a world full of temptations? Is it possible to maintain ethical standards in business, and personal integrity in your social life, when external pressures and internal forces are constantly enticing you away from the Christian life? Jack Zavada of Inspiration-for-Singles.com offers some practical advice to help you hang tough and let Christ conform you into a godly Christian man of uncompromising character.
The Dilemma for Christian Men
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our salvation is assured, but that very act presents us with a dilemma.
How do we, as Christian men, function effectively in the world without compromising our faith?
Not a day goes by without temptations to disobey God. How we handle those temptations either conforms our character more closely to that of Jesus or takes us in the opposite direction. Every area of our life is affected by that simple choice.
Drawing a Line in the Workplace
Fierce competition has made ethical compromise more common than ever. Businesses are leaning toward lower quality and less value to keep profit margins high. From executives to production workers, cutting corners is seen as one way to beat the competition.
I once sat in a management meeting and heard the president of the company say, "Well, there are different levels of ethics." After I closed my lower jaw in amazement, I thought of my Dad's simple understanding of "levels" of ethics: right and wrong.
It's important to establish our integrity early on, and never hedge on it. When we get a reputation for being non-negotiable on ethics, coworkers won't even try. If we're ordered to do something shady, we can honestly answer that it's not in the best interests of the customer, vendor, or the company's reputation.
As someone who worked in public relations, I can tell you that repairing a business's reputation is not only very expensive but takes years. Doing the right thing is always a wise business move.
If push comes to shove, we can state that we vehemently disagree with the order and ask to have our disagreement entered in writing in our personnel file. Executives are loathe to document ethical lapses.
Is this attitude realistic? Will it get you branded as a troublemaker or even fired?
That's the dilemma. At some point we Christian men have to choose what matters most to us: climbing the ladder or holding onto the cross. But the bottom line is that we cannot expect God to bless a career that violates his laws.
Drawing a Line in Your Social Life
Are you as insulted as I am by "men's" magazines? The editors seem to be obsessed with sex, six-pack abs and shiny objects. These publications are geared more toward chimpanzees than intelligent, moral human beings.
That's our dilemma. Whose morals are we going to follow? Are we going to let our thrill-oriented, sensuality-based culture dictate what's "normal"? Are we going to treat women as disposable objects or as precious daughters of God?
Through my website, I frequently receive emails from single Christian women asking where the decent Christian men are. Believe me, there's a big demand for guys who live out their faith. If you're searching for a godly Christian wife, I encourage you to hold to your standards. You will find a woman who will appreciate you for it.
The temptations are strong, and we have as many hormones as our unbeliever brothers, but we know better. We know what God expects. Sin is never right just because everybody else is doing it.
The Dilemma of Hanging Tough
Who says Christian men aren't tough, macho guys? We have to be to stand up to the pressures of this world.
Jesus realized that 2,000 years ago when he said, "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." (John 15:19 NIV)
If we're loved by Christ, we can expect to be hated by the world. We can expect ridicule, insults, discrimination, and rejection. We're not like them. We're different, and different always catches criticism.
All this hurts. Every guy wants to be accepted, but in our bruised feelings, we tend to forget that we are already accepted by Jesus, regardless of what the world thinks. When we focus on Christ's acceptance, we can go to him for strength and renewal.
He'll give us what we need to hang tough, no matter what dilemma the world throws at us.
Jack Zavada, a career writer and guest contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.