There will soon be a history making moment in Major League Baseball. The long revered home run record of Henry Aaron will be broken by Barry Bonds. America was swept up in euphoria when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa shattered Babe Ruth’s single season record. The excitement helped save a game badly damaged by petty labor disputes.
Now an accomplishment of much greater magnitude is approaching and America is apathetic or even hostile toward Barry Bonds. The reason? There is considerable reason to suspect that he enhanced his strength and performance with steroids. Here is the problem with being a Barry-hatah on that basis alone. MLB did not ban steroids until a couple of years ago. So Bonds did not violate any “rules” of Major League Baseball. He lived in a free floating world of situational ethics and he decided the greater good was to get stronger. Barry Bonds was certainly not alone in artificially building his body. And it is naive to believe that only hitters used steroids. More than a handful of pitchers suddenly developed more speed on their fastball at a point in their careers where that usually doesn’t occur.
When the moral boundaries of society are flexible how can you decide when something is right or wrong? Bonds did not break a single rule. And it is only against the law to supply steroids to others or to possess counterfeit steroids. So it is quite plausible that the players broke no laws. It was up to the players to decide right or wrong. We live in a culture where it is accepted to use every tactic to gain an “advantage” on the competition. I wrote an earlier post about resume writing companies that enhance your credentials to get an edge. I was lamenting my own rather puny educational resume when I wrote this blog.
Had I known about a company called fakeresume.com I could have pumped up the old resume a bit. The site offers a resume “tune up” that shows you how to fill in gaps in your resume, get fake references, and even get transcripts from any university with the GPA you want. Here is the rationalization taken directly from the firm’s website.
- The bottom line is if you know you can do the job, then why shouldn’t you fluff up your resume a bit? We all know a great deal of people who have held jobs that they were not qualified to have. Yet there they were day in and day out collecting big paychecks while other people corrected their frequent mistakes. This underground guide will teach you how to take your real life experience and embellished on them so you get the job you deserve.
- Can this be considered lying? Perhaps, but don’t you deserve a shot at a job you know you can do?
- What about your prospective employer’s honesty? How open and honest are they to their employees and future employees? Anyone who’s read the newspaper or watched the evening news has witnessed the lack of integrity that runs rampant in today’s corporate world. In my experience very few employers will fully reveal any unpleasant details affecting the positions they advertise.
Why not “fluff up” the qualifications? As long as you know you can do the job that’s okay, isn’t it? Lying? Well if you are going to get all nit picky you could say it’s lying. But I would simply suggest that you drag out the best rationalization of all for sinning. The gold standard of rationalization is justifying one sinful act because of another sinful act someone else commits. Companies are dishonest? Then you can be dishonest too. That merely levels the situational ethics playing field, right? The website has subheadings like “how much should you lie on your resume” and “how not to arouse suspicion”.
I have the answers to those questions and I feel pretty confident these are biblically accurate.
How much should you lie on your resume? Zero
How not to arouse suspicion? Tell the truth
In Proverbs you will find this timeless wisdom.
Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed. Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace! Proverbs 12 NLT
Back to the Barry Bonds saga. I wish that Barry Bonds were not breaking Hank Aaron’s record but I don’t hate him for doing it. Here is my fantasy if I could control how this event plays out. I would get every pitcher in baseball to commit to a plan. When Bonds is one home run away from tying the mark MLB pitchers would intentionally walk him 44 consecutive times at bat. That is Hank Aaron’s uniform number that he wore with dignity for over two decades.
That would show the respect we have for Hammerin’ Hank and his unsullied record. Is that going to happen? Of course not. But how cool would that be to see the walks mount…40…41…42…43…44. We love you Hank! OK, Barry, now you can break the record. Have at it.
The situational ethics of the home run pursuit has application for followers of Jesus and the message seems clear. We are held to a higher standard than technically fitting inside the rules. James offers his this straightforward truth.
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
When I am tempted to bend a rule or slide by on a technicality I must not do it. Everyday I am representing Jesus in the marketplace. I pray I will always take that seriously.