Monthly Archives: February 2016

An Ethical Dilemma

“But don’t begin until you count the cost.” – Jesus

Recently, I posted the following question on Facebook (I’ve edited it a little here to eliminate some inadvertent ambiguity in the original version.):

“You’re a business owner on your way to a meeting to sign contracts with a new client.  Your company is in trouble and if these contracts aren’t signed, you’ll have to lay off 100 employees. This meeting is your only opportunity to get the contracts signed and if you miss the meeting, you lose the business.

You are walking three blocks away from the meeting when you see a blind man in the middle of a busy intersection. He is confused, lost and it’s only a matter of time before he gets hit by a car. You look around and see that no one is willing to help him. It looks like you’re his only chance at getting to safety.  If you stop to help him you will miss your meeting.

What do you do?”

I received interesting responses.  Most went with saving the blind man.  Some tried to figure out a way to do both.  Some were funny (not yours, Michael) and one person went with saving the jobs.

Regardless of the decision that is made, there is a cost.

If you save the blind man, 100 people and their families will impacted.  Considering how the average person handles their money, this will be a severe hardship for most of those families.

If you ignore the blind man and save the jobs, that man is going to get hit by a car.

The argument was made that the blind man might die.  We don’t know that.  But, he might.  At the same time, economic factors have become an increasing presence in some suicides.

The argument was made that if we save the blind man, God will take care of the jobs.  The reverse argument can also be made.

One person pointed out 400-500 people could be impacted by the job loss and there was no guarantee the blind man would be injured or killed.  She talked about the needs of the many versus the needs of the few.  And her ears aren’t even pointy.

Obviously, my bias goes against saving the blind man.  Why?  There’s no logic to it.  In fact, it makes the least amount of sense.  I agree with my normal-eared friend (for once):  if I’m that business owner, those employees are my responsibility and I can’t let them down.  (I’m not going to bite on the ‘needs of the many’ socialist propaganda bait she threw out there.  She’ll just use it against me in a future argument.)

Even though I believe the meeting should take priority, I’m pretty sure if it were me in that scenario, I’d run out in the middle of traffic and try to save the guy.  Or, at least, I hope I’d have that kind of courage.  And then, I’d hope like hell the new client would give me a second chance.

I’m such a noble guy, right?

No.

Because, if the guy in the middle of the street was a convicted child molester I recognized because I saw him on TV, I’d let him die.

There are times when I do count the cost and then do what doesn’t make sense.  There are other times when I count the cost and do what does make sense.  Unfortunately, most of the time, I just do what I want and don’t count the cost at all.

This is one of the reasons I’m so grateful for God’s grace.  He knows wisdom is a process and He gives me plenty of time to get there.

I’m glad He realizes that I’m a blind man stuck in a busy intersection.

P.S. – It’s okay, Michael.  I thought your response was actually pretty funny.

 

 

 

I Must Confess, I Have to Forgive

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – The Apostle John

For some reason, the topic of confession vs. forgiveness has come up in quite a few conversations I’ve had recently. The circumstances or people have been different each time, however the concepts (as with most Biblical concepts) are universally applicable.

I think there’s a lot of confusion about what confession and forgiveness are and who benefits from each. Probably the best place to start would be basic definitions (I’m paraphrasing, but have provided links to Merriam-Webster):

Confession: a statement in which you say that you have done something wrong
Forgiveness: the act of forgiving someone or something

Granted, the definition of “forgiveness” doesn’t help much, so let’s look at what “forgive” means. It actually has a few meanings:

Forgive: to stop feeling anger; to stop blaming; to stop requiring payment

(That last definition for “forgive” is more of a financial thing, but I believe it applies in all areas of forgiveness.)

When it comes to practical application, each of these two acts are multi-step processes which are required so we can let go of mistakes of the past (whether our own mistakes, or those of others) and live lives free of guilt and bitterness. Neither forgiveness nor confession are easy; but both are necessary.

Let’s create a scenario where one person has done something to hurt someone else. Let’s call the bad guy “Pierre the Perpetrator” and the other one “Victor the Victim”. So, Pierre does something to hurt Victor. What should Pierre do at that point? (Well, if he’s French, he orders all of his forces to surrender and then allows the Germans to plunder his cities and take his women. So, let’s say he’s Canadian instead.) What should Victor do?

Pierre needs to practice the act of confession by approaching Victor, admitting what he did was wrong, offering restitution (if possible) and asking for forgiveness. Victor needs to practice the act of forgiveness by letting go of his anger and no longer attaching it to Victor or using it as an emotional weapon against him.

Easy to say, hard to do.

The first thing each of these guys must realize is their obligation to confess or forgive is completely independent of the other person’s obligation. In other words, Pierre must confess regardless of whether or not Victor forgives him and likewise, Victor must forgive regardless of whether Pierre confesses.

Why are these acts independent? Because confession has nothing to do with forgiveness and forgiveness has nothing to do with confession. We seem to think that the two are related, but they’re not. Each of these are mechanisms which God has given us so we can free ourselves from bitterness or guilt.

When one confesses, it does not ultimately benefit the person who was wronged. Confession benefits the person who confesses. Pierre must confess so he can free himself of the burden of guilt.

When one forgives, it does not really benefit the person who acted wrongly. Forgiveness benefits the one who was wronged. Victor must forgive so he can avoid falling into bitterness.

I’m going to write more about confession and forgiveness in the future. I hope this has been at least a bit thought-provoking.

If not, please forgive me.

Fixing Typing Lag in Word 2013

I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to figure out why I was experiencing so much lag when typing in Word 2013.

Here is the basic symptom:

When I typed something in a Word document – whether it’s a blank document, a document created from a template, or an existing document – I experienced incredible lag.  It would take a while for the characters to appear in the document.  Sometimes 2-3 seconds, other times as much as 45 seconds or more.

Of course, this happened right in the middle of a huge project with very, very tight deadlines.  And, of course, I was already running behind.

My first thought was I had a virus of some sort.  So, I did deep scan, and nothing was found.  I ran a repair through Control Panel > Programs and that didn’t help.  It felt like the CPU was pegged, but it wasn’t… although Word was using more than its fair share of CPU time.  I closed all other programs and that didn’t help.  I was getting pretty frustrated.

I finally figured out the problem, and it had to do with my video cards.  Apparently, Word didn’t like the fact the video cards were trying to handle the graphics.  I’ve read up on this a little and have learned that this setting is a little flaky.  Here’s where you find it:

1. In Word 2013, go to “File” and “Options”

File

Options

2. Click on “Advanced” and scroll down to find the “Display” settings.

Advanced Display

3. Find the “Disable hardware graphics acceleration” setting.

Disable

Here’s where it gets a little hinky.  One would think checking this box would be a bad thing as it would slow down your graphics rendering and cause the lag.  That very well could be the case.  Or, it might be that Word doesn’t like your video card and so this box needs to be checked.  Basically, if it’s checked, remove the check from the box.  If it’s not checked, then put a check in the box.  Either way, it should fix your problem.

In my particular case, I had to disable acceleration, so I put a check in the box.

I hope this helps you out!