Ever have one of those random, strange conversations that just won’t leave your head? Sunday after church, Amanda and I took the girls to our favorite little burrito joint (Qdoba is the bomb, friends). I had a meeting after church, so we were eating dinner late, around 3:30. There was only one other customer in the restaurant at the time, and before we were done, he had sidled up and started a conversation with us.
Well, conversation implies that there were 2 parties involved. This was more a monologue, as the guy started sharing random bits of financial advice (turns out, he was a financial advisor), going from one thing to the next. If you know me, you know I like to talk, but I could not get a word in with this guy. It was obvious he was lonely, and as I prayed “Lord, give me words to speak”, it was equally obvious he was not a believer.
As I looked for a moment to try and get a word in, the conversation really turned strange. While the man went over business tips, somehow he got on the topic of video rentals, and then how he used to own a video store. He starts telling us how, when he started out, he never intended for this to happen, but somehow, back-room pornography sales became over 50% of his business. He said he couldn’t believe it, and that he was shocked by the occurrence. I used a slight pause to voice my opinion on the subject, and how dark and dangerous it is, and how it hooks people and destroys lives and families. He hardly heard me, rolling on to how the porn industry is the #1 industry on the web. No doubt, I said, but he was rolling on to something else as he walked out the door.
Now, after it was all over, I was standing there with a cold burrito, a dazed look in my eyes, and bewilderment in my mind. What stuck with me was the comment that he never intended 1/2 of his business to come from porn. So, what? It was ok for 1/3 of it to come from it? What about 1/4? 1/10? It was the quintessential American dodge, in my opinion. What made it right to make a small portion of your money from something that, judging by his words, he felt was wrong? Is it just me, or is that a tad hypocritical?
Maybe the guy really didn’t realize it was such a big problem until it got that big, I don’t know. I’m not blaming that cat, because he is simply one in a long line of people that have enabled the self-destruction of countless lives and families. How many business people make the moral compromise that a little bend in the rules is ok?
How many of us make it every day? How many of us make a small compromise here, and another there? Only when it gets out of hand do we stop and go, “wow…I never intended for it to get there.” I daresay pretty much everyone enslaved by pornography had a thought similar to the video store owner, only their’s was not that 50% of their business was in it, but that their life was ruled by it.
Moral compromise brings about a slow slide into moral failure. Whether we’re the ones enabling it, or the ones being destroyed by it, it’s a reality. So tonight, think about your own life. Think about Paul’s words to the Ephesians:
“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” (Eph. 5:3)
Not 1/2. Not 1/4. Not 1/3. Not at all.