Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The application of religion to work, home and your daily life

  Most Americans say they’re religious and their beliefs are important to their lives, yet I’m astonished at how many blatantly ignore the moral expectations intrinsic to their religion.

  Religion isn’t about only worship and ritual; it teaches believers how to live. Thus, the holy books of every major religion are filled with precepts and principles about honesty, justice, fidelity, compassion, and charity that leave no doubt about the role ethics and personal virtue should play in our daily lives at home and at work.

  In his fine book The Business Bible: 10 New Commandments for Bringing Spirituality & Ethical Values into the Workplace, Rabbi Wayne Dosick tells of a soap-maker who challenged a rabbi: “What good is religion? It teaches honesty, but most people are dishonest.”

  The rabbi answered, “My dear soap-maker, religion – like soap – only works when you use it.” The ancient truths and enduring values embodied in traditional religions are more than guidelines or suggestions about how to behave. To those who profess religious belief, moral and ethical behavior isn’t an option. It’s a mandate.

  To practice religious rituals and claim reverent identity without scrupulous concern for the moral teachings of one’s faith is like going to a fine restaurant and eating the menu rather than the food.

  It’s also blatant hypocrisy. Integrity is about wholeness, the unity of beliefs, words, and actions. I’m not saying you have to be devout to be ethical. I’m saying if religion is important to you, so is ethics.

  Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Capital City Free Press on April 22, 2012.

  About the author: Michael Josephson is one of the nation’s most sought-after and quoted ethicists. Founder and president of Josephson Institute and its CHARACTER COUNTS! project, he has conducted programs for more than 100,000 leaders in government, business, education, sports, law enforcement, journalism, law, and the military. Josephson is also an award-winning radio commentator.

  This article was published by the Josephson Institute.

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