Professional integrity seems a straightforward matter, but it isn’t always. Many professions, organizations, and industries are currently in the midst of a period of–let us put it as mildly as possible–uncertainty.
As a new administration attempts to seize the moment, enacting sweeping and sometimes confusing policies, people may suddenly find themselves confused about or needing to make sweeping changes to their business or employment practices.
In such turbulent times, having a strong sense of professional excellence might be the only way to move forward with integrity. What is good about your work? What is its purpose? What makes it worthy work? To know this is essential to know how to act in any time, but especially in difficult times.
Reuters’ recent public declaration strikes me a good example of this kind of professional re-centering.
It might be tempting to change their journalistic standards in light of new events. It might be reasonable to feel that the press is under attack. But, Mr. Adler says, their past practices will serve them well even in this moment of apparent upheaval.
His statement is conservative in the best sense: whatever is genuinely good is worth preserving, even in difficult or turbulent times.
It is also liberal in the best sense: whatever is genuinely good is liberating. Having core values and practices frees you to act bravely when they are threatened.
This statement strikes me as a model for the church to follow in the coming years. However the new administration behaves, whatever posture the state takes toward the church, the church must do what it has always done: preach the gospel unashamedly and live as if it just might be true.
Sarah Conrad Sours has a vocation to teach, which she fulfills as an instructor of religion at Huntingdon College and as a Licensed Local Pastor in the United Methodist Church. She’s also a fan of working for pay, so that she can feed her family of six. Headshot image Copyright Su Ofe; used with permission.
Reprinted from Profession of Faith at Patheos.