(originally posted 3/23/2014)
The purpose of this post is to encourage you to stand by your convictions and not to compromise, even if it will cost you some type of short term economic gain.
Just turned down a potential work opportunity that would require that I travel to Dubai. The reason I formally gave was family responsibilities. The expanded version of my reasons are below:
- Although currently lacking contracts, I do have a few possibilities other than the one mentioned (above) as opportunities. Turning down a potential offer is not ‘per se’ neglecting my role as a provider. But, I saw it as emblematic of a larger picture that I want to be sure to teach my children; especially my boys and maybe even potential future sons-in-law by way of example. The principle is that it is more important to stay true to the things that you value than to, for the sake of short-term cash gain compromise a little. I will explain more as I go along in this post (and also not to say that I have practiced this fully or completely… or even that I have never done so before in my life).
- The potential long-term harm to my family of my being away for an extended amount of time is more risky then potentially losing money. At this season in the life of my family, my wife and children are needing me to be around.
- If we were to become pregnant, it wouldn’t be a blessing for me not to be around and helping out as much as I can. That load would fall onto my children, and I am not willing to do that to them.
- It is more of a protection to me if I am with my wife. It would be cost prohibitive for me to bring all of my family. And, I wouldn’t want to for reason number five.
- Dubai is an Islamic country. Although they practice a relative degree of tolerance toward other religions, two things that stand out as running against my values: A. They would prohibit what they would call proselytizing… but what I would call being faithful to Matthew 28:18-19… not that I am necessarily an overt, in-your-face, or a ‘Bible-thumper’ – my concern would be that I would de facto respond as who I am (a Christian) and then be in a not-so-good situation. Same for my wife and kids- if they were to go with me, I have encouraged them to speak the truth of the gospel (while also trying to teach them discretion). To go to Dubai would be opening myself and / or them to possibly horrific consequences. People are still beheaded in Muslim nations for profession of Jesus Christ. Just Sayin’. B. They are an oppressive society; their regulations show an outward form of religion while inwardly being full of hypocrisy. I don’t want to subject my children to that. I don’t want to be subjected to that.
- I love my own country. For all of the ‘warts’ and ‘blemishes’ and ‘sins’ of my country, I would rather live here than anywhere else (of which I have already visited 14 other countries). I would rather support my own country than any other country (Israel may be the only exception). My heart and mind are enmeshed with The United States of America. I am an American. (Yes, I do think that there will be nations in the millennial kingdom as well as going into the eternal state, but more on that later). I would feel as though I am suffocating if I had to stay for any length of time in another country.
- I Love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Dubai is a prosperous country, but it has a condemned future, as part of the evil world system that will be destroyed at the end of the tribulation. If I were to go, it would serve as an example to my boys of displaying a willingness to essentially ‘aid and abet’ the enemy. I personally feel like I am ‘done’ with that aspect of the things that I have been involved with in my life. Since my role at the company (which will remain nameless) would be less oriented toward being a technician and more toward being a conceptual designer, I would be shaping the content of the work that I was doing. If it was specifically Islamic in nature, which purports to be a religion of truth, but is in reality based on deception, it would tweak me every day that I would have to be a part of it. I don’t like that kind of tweaking.
So, those are the thoughts and reasons behind my choosing the way I did. Keep in mind, I am willing to work for the company if I don’t have to travel. But, traveling is an escalation, distillation and concentration of the things that I would have to deal with, in my spirit, should I be required to go. I will update this post if need be in the hours and days to come if I learn of anything else that is new and substantive.
What about you? Have you ever been in a situation where you could have gained monetarily but that it would conflict with your values? What did you do?