Machiavelli Was Wrong – In the Dock Apologetics .socialmedia_icons ul {margin: 0; padding:0;} .socialmedia_icons ul li { list-decoration-type: none; } .socialmedia_icons ul li {display:inline;} #tbContent { margin: 10px 0 0 0; } ul { margin:0; } ul.ttw-inner li { background-color:white; border:1px solid silver; float:left; height:60px; list-style-type:none; margin:1px 0 5px; overflow:hidden; padding:2px; position:relative; width:100%; } ul.ttw-inner span.ttw-author-img { display:block; height:48px; left:0; margin:4px 4px 0; overflow:hidden; position:absolute; width:48px; } ul.ttw-inner span.ttw-body { display:block; margin-left:55px; } ul.ttw-inner span.ttw-meta { color:#999999; display:block; font-size:0.764em; margin:3px 0 0; }

“It has to get done, no matter what it takes!” How many of us have ever heard this, or even said this ourselves while working or running our businesses? I know that I have said it many times. However, recent events where I work have caused me to think about this and really evaluate what this means when taken to its logical conclusion and whether such conclusions are consistent with the life of being in Christ.

Now, sometimes I know that we say this and we are being hyperbolic with our words. We are just attempting to express the fact that what we are doing is important and needs our attention, and even though it is important, there are some lines that we will not cross in order to “get it done no matter what.” What I want us to think about here is when we say such a thing and then we begin to give in to certain actions because of pressure or whatever desire that may be driving us at the time, we allow that line to become blurred to the point that it actually gets crossed somewhere along the way. I submit that when we say, “It has to get done no matter what it takes,” and then we actually allow those words to manifest themselves in our actions, we have adopted the ends-justifies-the-means mentality, and the logical consequences of such a mentality is dire and is not consistent with a life in Christ.

When we adopt this ends justifies the means mentality, then we are trading the notions of absolute right and wrong for the notion that right and wrong are relative and change according to the particular situation in which one finds himself-situational ethics. This type of ethical structure cannot be lived consistently, and it also precludes judgment on certain actions as being morally right and wrong. I think an example would help clarify my position here.

Let’s say we have a case in which we discover that a person regularly tortures babies just for fun. Now most of us would say that is always wrong regardless of the reason. Why? Because we subscribe that such is always morally wrong no matter whether someone believes it to be or not. However, in the ends-justifying-the-means situational ethics scenario, one could not say that is absolutely wrong in all cases because there are no absolute standards of right and wrong and in fact, in such a construct, one could argue that such an act was morally correct if doing so brought about the desired ends.

So, how does this apply to Christians at work or in the running of our businesses? As Christians, when we allow such a construct to become reality, we abandon the biblical standards of absolute right and wrong and instead we trade those for the same situational ethics. We begin to look at every situation as relative instead of adhering to the absolute principles of right and wrong laid out in scripture. Suddenly, things we never would have done before are suddenly ok if they allow us to reach our desired ends. All actions are fine if they allow us to meet our goals. Rather than working or running our businesses in a manner that is consistent with a calling from God and in a manner that glorifies God, we find ourselves pushing for more and more allowing whatever we are pursuing to become our idol. We begin to see our co-workers and/or employees as simply commodities, numbers on a sheet of paper that are expendable chess pieces which should be used to help us accomplish our ends, rather than children of God, made in His image and thus possessing immeasurable value. We no longer perceive them as people with lives, feelings, and needs, but simply things to be used and tossed away once they have outlived what we believe to be their usefulness. After all, “it” has to get done no matter what. The end justifies the means. I submit that this is inconsistent with the teachings of scripture. Genesis teaches that we are made in the image of God. Christ teaches us in the New Testament to love God with all that we have and our neighbor as ourselves. Peter reminds us to live holy lives because God is holy.  We can do none of this when we engage in such end-justifying-the-means thinking and actions.

Don’t get me wrong; it is not wrong to be successful. Contrary to some popular belief, capitalism is not evil. We all have been giving a calling from God and when we fulfill that calling and are successful in it, our Father is our biggest supporter. I believe it thrills the Lord to see us fulfilling our calling and doing it well. It brings Him glory. However, when we allow the end to justify the means, then we pervert our calling and instead of glorifying God, we turn it into something ugly.

It is incumbent among all of us to realize the dangers involved with this type of thinking and consequent actions. We must not allow this kind of thinking to in any way infiltrate the way we do our work or run our business, and if it is present we must work to immediately change such thinking and actions. Yes, there are times that we must buckle down and get things accomplished, but we must never allow this to progress to the level of end-justifying-the-means actions. For to do so, perverts who we are called to be in Christ.

One Comment

Leave a Reply to admin Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>