Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

When Right Loses Out to Reputation

I'm sure thousands of articles and blog posts have been or will be written about the terrible revelations of child abuse at Penn State. And unless we're experts in the law or know facts that the general public doesn't know none of us writers should be making judgments about motives, actions and intentions that we can't possibly know about for sure.

However, there seems to be one thing that is pretty clear in all of this.  And sadly it's probably true in many other offices, homes, and universities. People often don't do the RIGHT thing because they are more worried about their reputation. Or put another way, they don't do the hard thing because they don't want to look bad, it's painful or they might get rejected by someone.

Unfortunately, we all have this tendency. Some of us just take it to greater extremes than others. The sad part in the Penn State case is that the result of not doing the right thing is that a number of young children have been irreparably hurt. Yes, they can heal and hopefully by now have been able to move on as young adults but they lost something that can never be returned. They have memories that will not be erased.

Much of that could have been prevented if a few people would have just done the right thing.

So we'll have to let the authorities and other officials determine how the Penn State situation plays out. However, we can certainly look at ourselves and ask if there are corners we are cutting, things we're avoiding or actions we're taking that we are unwilling to expose because our reputation might be on the line.

Who's going to be hurt if we keep doing what we're doing or are not willing to take the high road?

So let me suggest a couple of ideas for anyone at a crossroads of right versus wrong. First, tell someone you trust. You don't need to tell the whole world, but tell someone. Let them help you take the next steps or keep you accountable. Second, if you know something as serious as the Penn State allegations, talk to the police. Don't wait one more minute.  

Third, if you personally need forgiveness, talk to a counselor who can tell you about God's love for you and walk you through finding His forgiveness. There is nothing He can't or won't forgive. We just have to be willing to ask.

Knowing the right thing is one thing. Doing the right thing is everything. Do it now.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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