Defending your principles can be taken a couple of ways, and both are important.
First you might defend your principles against unprincipled people, such as refusing to do something illegal or immoral even if told to by an employer. An example might be your boss asks you to fudge the books at work, or maybe falsify a report to a client or even over-state billable hours.
If you work construction an unprincipled employer might tell you to keep quiet about his use of inferior materials when he’s promising someone quality materials and is charging them accordingly. Maybe he tells you to use 1 1/2″ screws when code requires 2″ because it will save him some money. No one is going to know anyway, right?
What if someone close to you was selling a car with a major problem, and they didn’t reveal the problem to a potential buyer? Do you say something to your friend or family member, or just ignore what they’re doing?
It’s all about principles.
We all know the right thing to do in each of those instances, but do we do it?
Each situation mentioned can cause you heart ache and trials. If you choose to do the right thing and stand up to defend your principles, you might lose the job you’re dependent on. If you challenge a friend or family member in their unprincipled behavior, you may strain or lose that relationship. That is why being principled is so difficult, it often costs you.
The other part of defending your principles is defending your principles against yourself. Oh, how our human nature wars against the spirit and want’s to walk contrary to the principles taught in scripture. Of course, doing the right thing versus doing the expedient thing is rarely easy.
If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you’ll know that most of them center on character, and the importance of good character. Being principled is a great character trait that really stands out. It says to everyone around you, I’m going to do what’s right no matter the cost.
Unfortunately the cost may be stormy seas in your life. Your ship may be battered severely at times. It may even be knocked off course from time to time. But, when you’re a person of principle, and willing to defend those principles, your compass will always point truth north. You will always find your way back home.
In a time when compromise trumps commitment, and expediency trumps principle; defending your principals can be more difficult than ever. But, if you do defend them, you’ll be able to hold your head up, and sleep with a clear conscience at night. Besides that, you’ll earn the respect of other principled people, and you’ll be able to respect yourself.
How many public figures can you think of who can do or say that? I’ll bet not many.
Like being chivalrous, or exhibiting valor and temperance; being principled is about living a life, and standing for something bigger than you. It’s about walking with Christ, and becoming a new creature in Him. It’s about becoming who you were called to be, and meant to be.
If at this point you’re not sure who or what that is, I would say some quality time, on your knees talking to the Most High, would definitely help.
I wish you all the upmost success in defending your principles!