How Bright Is Your Light?
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15, NASB)
The corporate world is required to operate in the light. In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) serves to ensure that corporations operate in the light of truth. Several of the many SEC guidelines for operating in the light involve: (1) properly filed quarterly and annual financial statements and reports that are submitted in a timely manner (2) bankers, accountants and auditors who inspect, examine and certify that company financials are accurate and truthful (3) minutes of meetings and discussions among members of Boards of Directors that are recorded and kept for public review.
With the scandals of Enron, Arthur Andersen, Duke Energy, Dynegy, El Paso, Halliburton, Reliant Energy and the Stanford Financial Group making headlines in Houston over the last 15 years, it is hard to have a high level of trust in Corporate America’s reporting efforts and its desire to bring intimate details of daily business operations and financial transactions into the light. Sadly, the SEC inquiries, allegations and reports of fraudulent activity are not unique to Houston, but have occurred across the U.S. The public fallout includes executive terminations, tarnished reputations, payment of huge fines and penalties, and diminished trust by shareholders, investors and the public. The private price includes imprisonment, seizure of assets, financial ruin, unemployment, divorce, depression, and suicide.
I am encouraged that a select few corporate executives have had the courage to be a bright light. Cynthia Cooper (WorldCom) and Sherron Watkins (Enron) were named TIME Person of the Year in 2002 for their efforts in exposing corporate misconduct in the infamous WorldCom and Enron scandals. Their courageous efforts helped pave the way for the enactment of SOX corporate reform laws.
Child of God, Jesus instructed us to be a light. Are you surrounded by the darkness of dishonesty, greed, and corruption at work? If so, I encourage you to respond to Jesus’ call and be a light in this dark world and help others find their way.
Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to be a Light in the world. Jesus, may your light shine brightly in me. Use me as a vessel to bring truth, hope and encouragement to a dark and lost world. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.