Thursday, May 20, 2010

The End . . .

Here is piece of wisdom that I think is helpful for anyone. If you follow it, you can live a principled life. This wisdom can improve your relationships, your ethics, your character - every part of your life really. Ready for it? OK, here it is:

The end does not justify the means.

Reflect on this for awhile. Think about how it applies to topics like

-your relationship with yours spouse
-your performance at work
-how you parent
-what you do when someone wrongs you
-the expression of your anger

The end does not justify the means. I don't care how great your ministry is, it does not justify you breaking laws even if "God could be glorified". No matter how much your family needs money or how much you were ripped off by others, it does not justify you cheating on your taxes. It doesn't matter how evil someone has been to you, or that you being a jerk might snap them out of it, it doesn't justify bad behavior to them. The end does not justify the means.

If you break your own rules about how things can or can't happen to try and justify some greater good . . . you have failed. When you break God's rules (aka commands) to try to achieve some great good . . . you sin. It's that simple. It's what I call a process error - people abandon their ethics to try to get justice, revenge, pleasure, or relief. But character is who you are when no one is looking. It is the ability to stay true to your ethics under duress. Under challenging circumstances.

So again I remind myself and I remind you gentle reader. We need to stop deluding ourselves an calling ourselves and each other on it. The end does not justify the means. Ever!

(OK, rant over)


Jay Boaz said...

When I saw the title of this post in my blog feed I thought for sure this was going to be about Lost.

Anonymous said...

Good post, Mark, Thanks!

Elayne said...

So how about if you simply think the thoughts but don't act on them? I'm thinking many (including me) often think it's OK to think what we want, have conversations in our minds where we tell people off and say terrible things to them, tear them apart, put them down etc. and we justify these thoughts because we feel like we've accomplished something.
Just sayin'!