Charles Ponzi’s name will be forever associated with the financial fraud scheme he elevated to a way of life. After some minor financial crimes and brief times in jail, in early 1920 he began offering investors a 50 percent return on their money in 45 days and a 100 percent return in 90 days. Although it seemed too good to be true, the money poured in. Ponzi used money from new investors to pay prior investors and fund his lavish lifestyle. By the time his fraud was discovered in August 1920, investors had lost 20 million dollars and five banks…
I recently attended a meeting of leaders that could have become contentious and disastrous. It could have resulted in more fireworks than Chinese New Year! Thankfully, however, difficult issues were addressed with honesty and transparency. The big “I”—integrity—led individuals to speak words of truth, love, and forgiveness.
Why did you do that? I’m not referring to the things we do on reflex such as cracking our neck (which I do when I’m tired), but moments in life where we need to make a deliberate decision on a course of action. In the past when I applied […]
Long ago my wife decided that driving within the speed limit gives her a wonderful sense of freedom. She tells me, “I don’t ever need a radar detector. And I never have to slow down when I see a state patrol car or worry about paying a fine for speeding.”
Visitors to a zoo were outraged when the “African lion” started barking instead of roaring. Zoo staff said they had disguised a Tibetan mastiff—a very large dog—as a lion because they could not afford the real thing. Needless to say, the zoo’s reputation was sullied and people will think twice before visiting it.
According to an African fable, four fingers and a thumb lived together on a hand. They were inseparable friends. One day, they noticed a gold ring lying next to them and conspired to take it. The thumb said it would be wrong to steal the ring, but the four fingers called him a self-righteous coward and refused to be his friend. That was just fine with the thumb; he wanted nothing to do with their mischief. This is why, the legend goes, the thumb still stands separate from the other fingers.
Many believers long to find ways to better integrate their faith and work. Some feel as though they are in a second-class role because they were not called into full-time Christian ministry. Some struggle with identifying their purpose, calling, and giftedness; having no role model; knowing how to integrate faith and work; and knowing how to share and defend faith in the workplace. As a result, these believers are frustrated and can fall short of fully integrating their faith with their work.
If this has been your experience, get ready to be encouraged. These five lessons will help you reflect on…
Legendary basketball coach John Wooden (1910–2010) believed that character is far more important than reputation. “Your reputation is what you’re perceived to be by others,” Coach Wooden often told his players, “but your character is what you really are. You’re the only one that knows your character. You can fool others, but you can’t fool yourself.”
Their sin ruined the moment. Like a brawl at a wedding or a bitter argument during an office party, their selfish act brought the party to a halt. The new church had been an exhilarating community of love. “All the believers were united in heart and mind” and they “shared everything they had.” “Those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need” (Acts 4:32-35).
In the early 1500s, Martin Luther said faith in Jesus justifies us. But he also stated that faith should permeate all areas of our lives, including business dealings. Two and a half centuries later, a young man named John Woolman took this to heart as he opened a tailor shop. Due to his commitment to Christian love, he chose not to purchase any cotton or dye supplies that had been produced by slaves. Then he would be able to say, with a clear conscience, that he had lived according to holiness and sincerity in all his dealings (2 Corinthians 1:12).
Officials in Philadelphia were astonished to receive a letter and payment from a motorist who had been given a speeding ticket in 1954. John Gedge, an English tourist, had been visiting the City of Brotherly Love when he was cited for speeding. The penalty was $15, but Gedge forgot about the ticket for almost 52 years until he discovered it in an old coat. “I thought, I’ve got to pay it,” said Gedge, 84, who now lives in a nursing home in East Sussex. “Englishmen pay their debts. My conscience is clear.”