Last weekend I had the chance to see the new “Christian movie,” Courageous. I don’t like the movie being categorized ‘religiously’ though, since its applicable to people of any, or no, faith.
Basic message: men need to step up as fathers and leaders in the home. In my opinion, it’s a desperately needed message in today’s world–so many children grow up under the shadows cast by the absence of their fathers; with the brokenness that comes from a partially invested father, or a lousy father. I could honestly blabber on about this for another three hours, but I won’t. Here’s the part I felt related to class:
A father named Javier is depicted as having a hard time finding work to support his already struggling family. Through some good ol’ networking, Javier is given a (still low-wage) job that still pays even better than his last. After being employed for a while, he is called into his supervisor’s office. He’s surprised when his boss compliments his work ethic and even more surprised when he offers him a lofty promotion. There is, of course, a catch:
“On this sheet, you’ll see a list of 17 crates. One of these crates will be taken to a separate warehouse. When you report the inventory, I want you to report that we received 16…I have another purpose for the extra crate. But for your help, you’ll get a $2,000 bonus. How’s that sound?”
I said, “ethics” and shook my head negatively when this happened in the movie. And there it was–relevance from our class blossoming on the screen. This example though, does a good job at illustrating the temptation of being unethical: how it may not always seem that bad and the pay off is truly needed (for the sake of Javier’s family). But do those factors justify accepting the offer?
Although it’s hard to keep a black and white perspective, I was definitely saying “Don’t do it Javier!” the whole time. What would you do? Why?
Javier was given until 10 the next morning to accept or reject the offer. When the next morning rolled around, Javier sat back in the same seat he’d received the shady offer in.
“What did you decide, Mr. Martinez? Are you on my team?”
Javier gulped and responded, “…I cannot do what you have asked…it is wrong, sir. It would dishonor God and my family if I lied.”
His supervisor gave him a second chance to waver on his stance, “Do you understand what this may do to your job here?” Javier bravely responed, “Yes, sir, I do.”
After studying Javier, the supervisor extended his hand and said, “Young man, you just gave me the right answer.” Little did Javier know, his boss had pulled this stunt with six previous employees. He was searching to fill the new manager’s position, however he was searching for an employee he knew he could trust.
Before Javier left to start his paperwork, his boss said, “Oh, and, Javier? Thanks for your integrity. It’s rare.” The other boss in the room smiled, “Well done. After six times, I was getting discouraged.”
And it’s so true. Would you have been Javier, nervously taking a stand, repressing the urge to throw up, knowing this choice could condemn your family to further hardships? Or would you have been one of the six? One of the six who justified, one crate? That’s not a big deal. Could just be identified as miscalculations. I’m not going to be involved in whatever happens with it. I could really, really use that money!
For me it was awesome seeing an act of integrity being so blatantly and immediately rewarded. It’s about time people start taking a stand for what they believe in, no matter the consequences.