Lose Your Company or Sacrifice Your Values?
What would you do? In 2012, Hobby Lobby faced a fundamental dilemma. The Affordable Care Act mandated that Hobby Lobby provide certain contraceptive drugs including those that would induce abortion. Hobby Lobby agreed to provide contraceptives, but not those that would take life.
However, under the ACA, if Hobby Lobby did not agree to provide the abortion-inducing drugs, they would face a fine. In their case, the fine amounted to $1.3 million per day. As a privately owned company, the owners, David and Barbara Green, and their children all believed that life begins at conception and that it was morally wrong to take the life of an unborn child.
In short, they faced the decision to violate their conscience or to pay $1.3 million per day, and effectively lose their company.
In Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously, (Zondervan 2017), David recounts his struggle with this decision. I’ll save how the family dealt with those issues for the book.
However, their situation raises a more personal question: What would you do with your business if faced with a similar situation? Business regulations change all the time. People start up businesses and invest heavily in them—with their lives, their capital and their emotions. Would you be willing to lose that business if it meant violating your own personal conscience? Or on a smaller scale, perhaps you are an employee in a business with ethical issues. How would you respond?
While these questions may seem far-fetched, they’re worth giving thought to. Our answers reveal how deeply our business holds us vs. how deeply we value the One who upholds us.