Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Should This Be Filed Under, "No Surprise"?

JULY 24, 2012
Many Financial Pros Feel Pressure to Compromise Ethics

30% of financial services professionals say their compensation or bonus plans create pressure to compromise ethical standards or violate the law, according to a survey in the U.S. and UK conducted for the law firm Labaton Sucharow. 22% of female respondents say they'd face retaliation if they reported wrongdoing in the workplace, compared with 12% percent of male respondents.

Source: Professionals Feel Unethical Behavior May Be a Necessary Evil and Have Knowledge of Workplace Misconduct, According to Labaton Sucharow Survey

This came in today's Daily Stat from the Harvard Business Review. Maybe the only shocking thing about the findings is that such a small percentage of financial services professionals feel pressured to play fast and loose with ethics or the law.

If that seems cynical, I hasten to add that feeling the heat to cheat isn't itself unethical, criminal, or sinful.

When internalized, the pressure to cheat may be described with the Biblical term, temptation. Being tempted to sin isn't to do wrong.

And, if we're honest, we've all been tempted to do wrong.

That's part of being human.

 Jesus Christ, truly God and truly human, experienced temptation, but unlike the rest of us, never sinned. Christ not only has conquered sin and death for those who repent for sin and believe in Him, He also understands what it's like to be tempted...to be human. Hebrews 4:15, in the New Testament, says, "[In Christ]...we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin."

When faced with temptation, the God revealed to us in Christ can help us. "No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone," 1 Corinthians 10:13, also in the New Testament, says, "God is faithful and he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it."

 Of course, if we don't want to avoid sin or successfully elude the temptation to do so, there is no help to be had from God. While God wants to help us, He won't force His help on us.

But, honestly, it's better to run away from sin (and all its consequences) into the arms of God than to run to sin. Take it from one who knows.

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