"Thou Shalt not Steal" - Everyday ethics for the business professional

  • “You shall not steal" Exodus 20:15
  • "Let him who stole steal no longer" Ephesians 4:28

I was a bit surprised that that technology group of which I am a member has a new time and attendance policy taking effect on January 1st. Basically there are workers who have time-based performance (this may loosely relate to being non-exempt) or performance based (loosely related to being exempt). The net of the communications was this - be on time ... and don't leave early ... and let your manager know if you will be away from your work for such and such time (like a Dr's appointment).

Christians are called upon to have the highest level of ethics with regard to employment. In thinking about my own work environment, I see these areas where the Christian needs to be carefully observant:

  • Don't steal time. A full time employee should work full time. 
  • Don't steal office supplies: Occasionally and inadvertently I will bring a pen home from work. Seems like a minor thing! But it is best to return it. If one needs personal office supplies, buy them for oneself!
  • Don't cheat on expenses: I have a company credit card. I only carry it in my wallet when I travel - otherwise it is locked up. While we are not required to keep receipts for meals of less than a certain amount, I keep all receipts and am careful to only expense what was really spent. If I have breakfast for $ 4.00 at McDonald's ... I don't expense as if I spent $ 10 at Perkins.
  • Don't take technology: I have 4 or 5 keyboards stowed away in my office. If I need a keyboard for home, I buy it. When I need a mouse, I buy it myself.
  • Don't take services: We have an internal mail system where I can mail any package to any company employee anywhere where an employee is located. I used to have relatives who worked for the company and lived miles away. It would have been wrong to send Christmas presents via the internal mail system to a relative-employee.
Who is watching? The Lord says: "Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?”. Jeremiah 23:24. We are called to high ethics because God is just and holy. We live and move in God and cannot escape His presence or observance.

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