We cavalierly say that we know what is right and what is wrong and we are quick to hold people accountable for doing something wrong when we know better what was right for them. I agree that deep inside there are clear lines between black and white but in business there are also shades of gray. Howwe work is colored with these shades. I recently was helping someone who was being criticized for how many hours he worked versus the rest of his team. This is a person whose life revolves around his work and for him, putting in long hours is not a problem and he has structured his life such that the hours don’t impede on other parts of his life. Where other people have lots of hobbies or outside interests, for him his life is his family and his work. But, not everyone on his team wants to work to that level. He understands this and never pushes them nor expects the same, but they feel guilty none the less and therefore he gets tagged as doing something wrong. Is he right or wrong in how he works? There were also days, before the accounting standards were tightened that many things were left up to interpretation by auditors and there were no hard black and white lines. It is less so now, but the line between right and wrong was not always clear and turned out to be situational. My advice in any of these gray situations is to make the assumption that what we might be thinking is leaning more towards right might be actually leaning to the wrong. Why is this? Well, because the way we are built as humans just has that in us. So, to be better safe than sorry, we might want to always check in with others to test our judgment and to get a second wrong vs. right opinion. Paul tells us in Romans that even he, when he wanted to do right, would do wrong; “It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong”. If today you are in a situation where things look gray, then assume that human nature is going to sway you in the wrong direction and then correct from there. Being in the right, of course, is always the best place to be. We just have to be sure that we know where is the right!
Reference: Romans 7:21 (New Living Testament)