Not too long ago I had an argument with a co-worker about an ethical situation. But before I get into the actual argument I have a question for you to ponder first. You are standing somewhere, presumably by a cash register, and you notice change on the floor. Whether you pick it up or not is a personal choice that probably depends on how much money is involved or on how bad your back hurts that day. But what comes next is what I want you to consider. In front of you on the counter is a collection box for some charity or other. Do you (a) put the change in the box or (b) put the change in your pocket? It can be a tough question, especially if you are strapped for cash.
The situation involved in my argument was change found on the ground by a drive thru where there is a collection box for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. My opinion is that it isn’t really your money to begin with and chances are it was dropped in an effort to put it in the box. I think the money picked up should be dropped in the box. My co-worker obviously felt otherwise and had been pocketing all money found on the ground. He felt that many times people just didn’t feel like picking their money up after dropping it so the money was free money.
I came up with a phrase the other day that really summed up the whole issue in just three words. "Shades of Morality." And I hereby claim that phrase for a future novel, I love it. 🙂 Moving on, what I mean by that is that we all have our own vision of what moral behavior is and much of that is dependant on how we were raised as children. Look at it this way; morally I am no more right than my co-worker is when it comes to picking up dropped change from the ground. No matter how much it grates on my nerves it was dropped and not picked back up.
The problem isn’t so much, his morality or even mine, but where is the line drawn? And the real question that I should be asking; Where does God draw the line? Several years ago it was the "in" thing to where clothes, bracelets, necklaces, and other items asking "what would Jesus do?" and if we were to not only ask that question but take the answer into account we would all get along better. Sure both my coworker and I are right about the dropped change, but… What Would Jesus Do? Obviously I think he would pick the change up and put it in the box, unless his omniscience told him that the charity was a fraud.
How many times do you really question your motives when you do something that could be questionable? How many times do you question other people’s motives? These issues are just shades of morality and it is up to you to reflect on them to decide who is really right and wrong. In the eyes of the law, nobody is truly wrong in my situation. And maybe God wouldn’t even see it as being wrong, just not right.
The way I see it is that we’re supposed to follow in Jesus’ footsteps so what he would do, we should do. So in this I feel justified, but who’s to say that I will next time.
I will give him this much credit, after our argument he has been putting the change in the box every time since then. At least when I am around.