“No One Told Me.” (James 4:17)

“Hey Jake! Thanks for calling back. Wanted to give you the follow-up on our patient.”

Jake is a dermatologist colleague and I was consulting on one of his patients. After we discussed the patient, I changed the topic. “Listen, I heard that your group was sold to a private equity firm. Congratulations!”

“Wow…hang on.” I could hear him walking and closing the door. “Yeah, the deal closed last week Friday. Unfortunately, I’m not a partner. No one told me until after the deal was done.”

“Oh.” Silence followed as I digested what he said. “Sorry to hear this and bring it up.”

“No…it’s okay. I am still trying to get my head around all of this. Looking at my options now and talking to other dermatologists.”

“Let me know if I can help. I’m always being asked by other dermatologists if I know anyone who may be a good fit for their practices.” 

We ended our conversation but I was understandably disturbed by his revelation. He had worked for his present group for over two years with the promise of becoming a partner. At the least, the owner-partners should have confided in him before the deal was closed. They may not have been under any legal obligation to do this but morally, it would have been the right thing to do. 

There are many situations in life when one may hide behind the notion that if that is there is no legal obligation to take an action, the moral consequences could be ignored. Like Jake’s situation, no law was broken but dire consequences resulted, leading to his estrangement. Jake’s partners most certainly knew they would hurt him with their decisions but were probably willing to lose him for the sake of the business. But what about other situations when the moral consequences are not as evident?

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

James 4:17 (NKJV)

The Bible addresses this issue. It is not an overstatement to assert that nearly all people know when they are doing wrong. God gives all of us a conscience. When we make a statement that something is wrong or does not feel right, we are making a judgment and comparing it to an absolute standard. There is only one absolute standard for morality and that is God. The question we all need to answer is how much of our conscience is in line with God’s will? If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit indwells within you, convicting your conscience and bringing it in line with God. The more we yield to God, the closer we will know how to be morally responsible in our actions when confronted with situations when the moral consequences are murky. 

No one told me.

This is never an excuse when we follow God. 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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