Monday, April 23, 2007

What if your profession had been named?

Tax collectors also came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?"

"Don't collect any more than you are required to," he told them.

Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?"

He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely -- be content with your pay."

These are some of the conversations recorded between John the Baptist and those who came to be baptized. But I can't help but wondering what he would say to us today. I know most of us could stand to hear, "Be content with your pay." But would there have been more pointed advice for some trades? What if ...
If some lawyers came to him and asked, "What should we do?"

Would he have said, "Do not defend the guilty nor accuse the innocent; seek only justice" and "Do not bear false witness"?

If some car salesmen came to him and asked, "What should we do?"

Would he have said, "Do not take advantage of the widows or the young" and "Do not use dishonest price scales to take extra money from the unwary"?

I know there are other professions that have a reputation for being ethically challenged. But do you wonder what he would have said if he were talking to people of your trade? Here's mine:
If he were talking to programmers, would he have said, "Do not inflate your estimates to avoid an honest discussion on the merits of a project"? Or "Don't abuse your expertise to give misleading answers that suit your convenience"? (You always suspected some of us did. Well, some of us do.)
If your profession had been named, what would have been said to you?

4 comments:

P.S. an after-thought said...

And he said to the mother, "Don't inflate your self-importance by thinking that if the childred did just as you say, everything would turn out perfect."

japhy said...

I'm a programmer, too.

If Jesus had me in mind, he probably would have said something like, "Don't be impatient with people trying to learn to program, and write your code legibly and comment it!"

Seriously.

D. P. said...

And some editors of Bible study curriculum came to him and asked, "Teacher, what should we do?"

John answered, "Write only what is useful for edification and do not make unreasonable demands of the graphic designers. Do not belabor your private interpretations of Scripture, but honor your readers by letting them reach their own conclusions."

Weekend Fisher said...

Anyone want to try "reporters" or "politicians"? The trick is that J the B never put it as a slam, just as a challenge ...