This week we learned about the inflation, deflation, and preparation of footballs used in NFL games, more than I bet any of us ever wanted to know.
We now know, that each team get to use its own footballs. Plus, the starting quarterback during the week leading up to the game is allowed to have the surface of the balls prepared to his specification.
We now know, that several hours before the game, the footballs prepared by both teams are inspected by the game officials. Part of the inspection includes a test to ensure that the balls are inflated to NFL standards.
We now know, that after inspection the footballs are returned and placed in the custody of the team; and it is then, their responsibility to care for the footballs during the course of the game.
Finally, we now know, for the first time a heretofore unkowned opportunity for cheating where the ethics of the game is pitted against an advantage that can help win the game.
Football is a sport where millions of dollars, along with fame and additional financial endorsements are at stake. This is a game where the smallest advantage can instantly turn a loss into a win.
Therefore, it is completely believable that a team “rouge” player or employee would do a little football deflating; to gain an advantage
However, the issue for me is not about Deflategate; of which I am certain will work itself out. Rather the issue for me, is how do we operate when there is an opportunity for comprised ethics? When advantages can be gained while the breach goes undetected.
We are all aware of the legendary ethical breaches like Watergate, Enron and Madoff. But what about the ethical breaches in our own lives?
- The expense report that was “slightly” padded.
- The Coke we got from the self-serve machine at McDonalds after we requested a cup for “water” only.
- The “white lies” that we tell our family, friends, spouses and ourselves.
Speaking about the ethical situations we face daily, Pope John Paul II said: “Each time we commit an ethical violation and get away with it, especially when it goes unchecked, it becomes easier to violate an ethic again and again and again.”
Robert Williams, one of my earliest mentors, advised me to “make my word golden in the world.” The intent is to go beyond just being honest. Dr. Williams considered honesty as the daily minimal requirement. He wanted our entire lives to be reflected in a code of conduct underpinned by: decency, respect and ethics.
For many years, I failed at the noble notion of making my word golden in the world. Then, I invited Jesus into my heart. He gave me the power to make my word golden. I no longer operate by my word, because I live by His Word. And Jesus’ Word is always golden.
Therefore, I invite you to check out Jesus for yourself. Regardless of our high ethical standards, we are just one expense report, one coke, one lie or one deflated football away from not making our word golden in this world. However, with Jesus on our side we will always come out on top regardless of the inflation of the football or the score of the game. For as Jesus has told us in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
©Copyright 2015 Marben Bland
Marben Bland, Is a Born Again Christian and businessman who is determined to use God’s word to showcase how to be both great at loving Christ and great in business.
Read more of his post at marbenbland.com