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Knowing and Doing

The reality for all Christians is the
obligation to equip themselves for their greatest impact
and to seek every
opportunity to increase that impact.
And never to suspect that they are not called or that
their time has passed them by.
— Hugh Hewitt1
Doing well is the result of doing good.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

There’s a cartoon plastered to the front of my refrigerator depicting a group of people at a party standing around holding drinks. One person, talking to the others, says, “We’re all friends here. Try to forget that I’m an ethicist.” Someone gave me that clipping in jest, but I’m quite certain that I’ve squelched more than a few cocktail party conversations, as soon as fellow partygoers learned what I do for a living: I work in the ethics industry, leading a non-profit that helps other organizations establish ethics and compliance programs, and providing resource materials to educators to help them instill character in tomorrow’s workforce.
People balk at the fact that there is an ethics industry, or that we need one, but pull out a smattering of newspapers from the past few years, and the cause for an industry around ethics is readily apparent. The American public trust has been eroded by scandals that have touched almost every sector of our lives. A University of Chicago poll in 2002 indicated that the percentage of people who are in agreement that “most people can be trusted” has dropped to a meager 35% of our population. In the past year, 46% of employees have observed some form of misconduct that violated either the law or their organization’s standards, but only 1 in 3 reported it.2 We’ve seen headlines revealing inappropriate actions of business executives, journalists, politicians, celebrities, pundits, doctors, lawyers, accountants, members of Wall Street…and most shocking for us as believers…headlines decrying the behaviors of religious leaders. We are losing faith that goodness and rightness can prevail in human beings of faith who have delved deeply into discussion about the environment, or the challenges of relativism as a worldview, or what people of faith should do with the postmodern dialogue.3 They assert that while it certainly seems threatening, the cultural allowance for multiple truths in the postmodern age at the very least allows Christians to have their perspectives respected too...

Patricia Harned

Patricia Harned, Speaker, is the chief executive officer of the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI), America’s oldest nonprofit in the ethics & compliance industry. Dr. Harned is an expert on culture change, ethical leadership, and workplace reporting/retaliation. She speaks and writes frequently as an expert on ethics in the workplace, corporate governance, and global integrity. Dr. Harned was selected by Ethisphere Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics in 2007, 2014 and 2015, and was named one of the Top Thought Leaders in Trust in 2010, 2011, 2018 and 2020 by the nonprofit organization Trust Across America. Dr. Harned received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.

 

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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