(This testimony is from our brother-in-the-faith and partner in the gospel, Gabe. He graduated from Silliman University and passed the CPA board exam last 2010.)
Working as an accountant is one of the best jobs in the world. You get good pay, get respected by the people in the company, and tackle very challenging tasks. It does have some downsides to it, however, as I discovered in my very first job.
I work at a local private company in Makati. Because of the corruption that surrounds most of the branches in our government, the organization isn’t highly regulated. As a result, the company has developed an environment that encourages tax evasion and cheating its joint venture partners. Being the accountant, I was asked to do things I am not particularly proud of. I was tasked to make schedules and reports that are false in order to make more money illegally. I know that what I was doing is wrong, but I tried to reason out with God, to rationalize what I was doing. All the while I was looking to please men more than God.
Last September I received a call from a bank inviting me for a job interview. I applied for that job almost a year ago already, but they only called now. I wondered immediately if it was God’s plan for me. Well, I decided to take a shot at it.
I got through the exams quite easily, but during the interview, I was extremely awful. I stuttered here and there and just simply ran out of ideas. The saving grace was that the interviewer was a Christian. At the end of our interview, she asked me if I was a Christian because I kept on mentioning God and of reading the Bible during the interview. That basically did it. We launched into a very lengthy conversation about our Christian faith. As I reflected on it that afternoon, I believed that job was the one God had in store for me.
My boss somehow learned of it though, and he called me into his office to ask me the reasons why I went to that interview and all. Deep inside my heart I knew the reason why I wanted to leave was that so I would not compromise. That was the biggest reason. But out of fear, I told him that I just wanted to gain experience in that field and to get a higher salary. So I asked him for time to make a decision as to whether I would resign or not (my application in the bank was almost assured).
That night I prayed to God that He may guide me in my decision. It was during that time that I was reading the Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren. I was on a particular chapter called “Heart of Worship.” In that chapter it said to surrender all my dreams and aspirations to God and just let Him take control of my life. Then I realized something: that I was not giving my life to bring Him glory. What I was doing was running away from the decision of pleasing God or pleasing men, and looking for a way where I can please both. God is not glorified there. He is glorified when I have the option to please men, but choose to please God instead.
So the next day I laid the truth out to our company’s CEO. I told him straight that the problem was that, as a Christian, I cannot continue to do the things the company asks me to do. I told him the reason why I wanted to leave was so that I can become a better follower of Jesus. And God is faithful. He gave me courage to endure persecution in the office. He also allowed me to stay in my present company without having to compromise (I was assigned to internal reporting). I also received a salary upgrade, and a few added bonuses. God indeed is good.
I’m not going to stop there, though. With the help of a fellow Christian in the office, we’ll be starting a Bible Study in the company. With the help of the Gospel, I am praying that the company will be transformed. I pray that one day they will do away with all the lies and dishonest business dealings. Honestly, it looks almost impossible as of now. But nothing is impossible with God. To God be the glory!
What challenges are you facing where you are (e.g. workplace, home, school) right now and how can you make a solid stand for Jesus?