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Moy stresses importance of integrity in the workplace

Edmund Moy speaks at the recent Business Through the Eyes of Faith luncheon. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)
Edmund Moy speaks at the recent Business Through the Eyes of Faith luncheon. (Photo by Morris Abernathy)

JACKSON, Tenn.April 6, 2011 – Christians are called to be change agents and can bring about change through the moral and ethical decisions they make, Edmund Moy said March 29 at Union University.

“I believe that all Christians without exception are called to full-time Christian ministry,” Moy said. “Some of that full-time Christian ministry is going to be a pastor, who equips their congregation to go out and do full-time Christian ministry. But for many of us, it’s going to be in our workplace.”

Moy, former director of the U.S. Mint and aide to President George W. Bush, was the guest speaker for Union’s Business Through the Eyes of Faith luncheon. Sponsored by the McAfee School of Business Administration, the event is designed to encourage and equip members of the West Tennessee business community to integrate their Christian faith into their workplaces.

“I got several compliments about Moy’s address,” said Keith Absher, dean of the McAfee School of Business Administration. “People related to him. They wanted to hear more.”

Moy also spoke in several business classes while he was on campus, and “he was really at his best talking to students one-on-one,” Absher said. “It meant a lot to them.”

Moy became a Christian during college, and his first position after graduating was as a corporate salesman for BlueCross BlueShield. That job came with a company car, and employees were expected to distinguish between personal mileage and work-related mileage on their expense reports.

After only a few days on the job, Moy turned in his expense report, in which he had carefully kept track of his personal mileage. But his supervisor saw his expense report and chided him for it, telling Moy that the entire sales department of 90 people had decided to fudge on those expense reports as a means of making more money.

Moy chose to stand firm and tell the truth, even though his supervisor had threatened termination for turning in an honest report.

“When you hired me, you knew that I was a Christian,” Moy told his supervisor. “One of the things you get in a Christian package is someone who tells the truth. If I were to lie on something as simple as an expense report, how would you know that I’d be telling the truth about anything else?”

His supervisor signed off on the report, but Moy’s honesty triggered an internal audit. Moy was ostracized by his co-workers, many of whom had to repay a lot of money to the company.

“It wasn’t a very pleasant time for about three years,” Moy recalled.

But that experience provided a valuable lesson for Moy about the importance of integrity and obedience to God in the workplace, even when it might be easy to buckle under the pressure. Moy stressed the need to set that pattern of integrity early and being faithful even in the smallest and most insignificant ways – because it is much easier than trying to change your habits after you’ve settled into them.

“Life is made up of big decisions and small decisions, but they all add up to a direction, Moy said. “When you make those decisions, it says something about yourself.” Moy said that the most important thing he wants to hear at the end of his life is not that he was successful, or that he made millions of dollars.

“I want to hear from my Lord that it was well done, my good and faithful servant,” Moy said. “That is the direction that I want all my small and big decisions to point to.”

Moy is no stranger to Union University, and has been on campus before. He gave Union’s commencement address in May 2004. He said two of his best employees at the White House – Andrea McDaniel and Josh Trent – are both Union alumni.

“One of the things that has attracted me to spending more time at Union University was the wonderful training they got, not only in academics, but in how to integrate their faith into all aspects of their life, including their workplace,” he said.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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