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Where our true security lies

Faith & Inspiration

As an executive in the company, I was responsible for 900 employees (90 percent women) at four locations. One of my division presidents had an affair with one of his staff members. Word was that they actually had a few rendezvous at the office.

After getting all the facts and talking with the offending president, I decided he had to go. How could you have husbands sending their wives to work, worried that the boss might be hitting on them? It seemed like a no-brainer to me.

Off I went to the CEO’s office to get the final OK, expecting a short conversation.

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I presented the evidence. The case was solid—open and shut. There was no debate about the facts. When I finished my presentation, the CEO said, “You can’t fire David.” It took me a few seconds to recover my equilibrium. I hadn’t expected a debate.

“Why?” I asked.

“Well,” he said, “I look at every female employee who walks in the door as a possible bed partner, and we can’t fire someone for doing what I do regularly.”

The debate went as follows: The Bible? Boot that out—no relevance here. Polluted culture? Well, David had hundreds of wives. What about husbands? That’s their problem. It’s just not right. Says who? Sexual harassment? It never even came up.

After about 45 minutes of heated discussion, I was spent and stunned.

Eyeball to eyeball, I said, “You’re the boss. I must do what you say. But I’m not sure I can manage this way, and I’m not sure I want to learn how?”

I left with a dilemma. Security or do business God’s way?

I had joined this company to make a lot of money and advance quickly, and I had. I had restricted stock grants coming to me for several millions dollars. All I had to do was stay. I had grown up lower middle class, had always wanted to be financially secure, and this job was giving me that assurance.

But God had other ideas. Four years earlier I had become a Christian and God was now feeding me biblical truth with a fire hose at our local church. I took that truth to heart. Could you honor God and mange in an environment that was not just secular and pagan but hostile to biblical principles?

I studied Daniel, who worked for a pagan. He managed to maintain his integrity and flourish. Nehemiah did the same. I asked for advice from Godly men. But I couldn’t figure out how to walk the tightrope upon which God had placed me.

With tears in my eyes and no idea what was next, I decided I had to leave my job. Maybe someone else could’ve managed the ambiguity, but I couldn’t. I wasn’t as mature as Daniel or Nehemiah. I walked away from the millions and the security I had always sought. My boss never understood why I left. At the time, I didn’t either.

That was 30 years ago. I can see now what I couldn’t see then. God wanted me to grow up, to trust Him for security and not the company I worked for.

What a great temptation it is to see our companies, our bosses, or our retirement plans as our security. What a great blessing it is to have God teach us that He and only He is our Provider. That teaching came in the form of a trial that lasted two years.

I still occasionally forget where my security comes from, but the heavenward anchor God gave me always draws me back to my proper mooring.

Bill Newton
Bill Newton

Bill is a pastor based in Asheville, N.C. He also serves as a member of God World Publications' board of directors.

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