Our decisions in tough situations reveal our character. Ephesians asks us to be imitators of God, so one way to make the right decision is to ask, “What type of person do I want to be?” Micah tells us that God demands justice, kindness, and humility. So we can trust that if a course of action makes us more just, kind, or humble, it is probably the right decision.

Sallie Krawcheck had just taken over leadership of Merrill Lynch’s wealth management division when she learned that their “Stable Value Fund” was in trouble. Customers had been sold this fund as a safe place to put their pension investments, but Merrill Lynch had managed the fund more riskily than advertised and lost money. Since Walmart had invested heavily in this fund, Merril Lynch’s loss would be felt most harshly by low-income workers in retirement. Krawcheck saw two options in front of her. One was to say “tough luck” to the Walmart employees; the other was to take money from Merrill Lynch’s coffers to replace the money that was lost.

Which decision embodies justice, kindness, and humility?

Ultimately, Sallie decided that she wanted to be the type of person who apologized for mistakes. She didn’t want to be the type of person who profited from other people’s loss. She reimbursed the fund’s losses from Merrill Lynch’s profits, even though she risked losing her job over it.

When you face a tough decision at work, ask yourself, “What type of person do I want to be?” Weigh each option by its effect on your character, and then make your decision.


Lord, I want to imitate you in my actions. Shape my character through your word. Amen.


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