I found God through the Enron debacle. 

What do I  mean by that statement?  I have always been a believer.  I believe in heaven and hell.  I believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I believe in eternal salvation through my redeemer, Jesus Christ.  The problem was that I was a check-the-box Christian before Enron.  I could check all those boxes recited above, but was there real contentment?  Real freedom?  No.

Why not?  I don’t have all the answers, but I have my answer.  Faith, put to work, will launch God’s promises for your life.

  1. The Parable of the Talents      Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV)

  2.   ….. 19 "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.' 21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!”

  3. “Come and share your master’s happiness.”   What a reward, what a promise!  And it is meant for this life; for the here and now.  This isn’t about after we die; it is not a promise of heaven to come, where happiness reigns.  This reward is about the joy and the gladness we see Jesus promising us throughout His ministry, for our lives now.   Could this parable be telling us the way to that joy, gladness and contentment?

  4. Prior to this parable, Jesus’ disciples asked him (in Matt 24:3) about the signs of Jesus’ second coming, how would they know to recognize the end of the age?  Jesus replied with a series of parables including the ‘parable of the talents’ that address not so much the end times, but how we should live our lives in the mean time.

  5. We are all entrusted with talents, “each according to his own ability.”  Talent in this parable means money, but the word can also mean skills like business expertise (finance, accounting, etc.), creative skills (entrepreneurs, the arts), and/or technical skills (engineering, IT, etc.), among others.   The progression of the parable also indicates that ‘talents’ mean our responsibilities…. If we handle current responsibilities with faith, we will be given more.  Looked at this way, I immediately think of parenthood.  No one but us can be the best parent to our children; surely this is a responsibility from God.

  6. As I look back on my life, so much has changed since August 2001, when I met with the chairman of Enron, to warn him of accounting irregularities at the company.  True miracles have taken place in my life and I can tell you that Jesus meant what He said in the parable of the talents, for I have been led to the ‘master’s happiness.’  

  7. I had to rely on my faith that August, I was worried about how my message would be received and whether I’d be able to keep my job.  My warnings were somewhat ignored; the accounting structures I was concerned with became public knowledge in October 2001 and the company declared bankruptcy six short weeks later in early December 2001.  Since it was such a large company, and had gone bankrupt so quickly with barely a whiff of financial bad news, over 13 Congressional investigations were convened to determine the cause.  In mid January of 2002, a Congressional staffer found my now famous memos in a box of subpoenaed documents and in short order made them (and me) known to the press.  It was an unsettling time, the morning after the disclosure, I woke to camera crews surrounding our house.  My hands were shaking, I was so nervous about the situation.  I picked up my Bible and opened by chance to Hebrews 12.  The first 3 verses say, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”   What perfect scripture to read for encouragement when times seem tough.

  8. I was still employed at Enron while the bankruptcy was underway.   I made it past the camera crews (with their big fuzzy microphones on long poles), and with my head swimming, went into the office that morning.  At noon that day, I attended a luncheon sponsored by the Professional Women’s Fellowship.  The speaker got up and began her speech with the very same scripture I had just read that morning, Hebrews 12, verses 1 – 3.   I found myself in tears; I had thought my work was done.  I had reported the problem to those in charge in the hope of saving the ship; it had now sunk - what more was there for me to do?  This scripture, twice in one day, seemed to be telling me there was more to come.   Well, there was –long stretches of Congressional testimony, both in the House and the Senate; seemingly endless media attention; five years of civil shareholder litigation, and finally, my testimony at the criminal fraud trials of the chairman and the CEO.  Jesus’ faithfulness in the second part of the parable of the talents is also true. “You have been faithful in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things”….. I have a global platform from which to advocate leadership and ethics, and among other things, my faith.

    The most important aspect of acting on my faith back that fateful August was “the come and share the master’s happiness” part of that parable.  It’s been a miraculous journey for me, the events of that journey are numerous and space does not allow me to discuss them here, but old hurts have been healed, I have found the joy, contentment and gladness of Jesus’ promises.  I am just beginning to get an inkling of the life the apostle John described in the opening of his gospel, as he summarized what he was going to write about Jesus, he added in John 1:16 (Amplified version), “For out of His fullness, His abundance, we have all received, all had a share and we were all supplied with one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift heaped upon gift.”

  9. To find a life supplied with one grace after another, spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor and gift heaped upon gift; we just need to do one thing – act on our faith.  Don’t let your faith be wishful thinking, do something with it that requires courage.

  10. I enjoy speaking to business audiences; the focus on ethical leadership is important; however, I also believe that more is needed to ensure a stable capitalist system in the U.S. and elsewhere.  Michael Novak, a former Catholic priest wrote “The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism” in 1982.  In his well-regarded book, he praises the virtues of a democratic capitalist system for its ability to raise the standard and quality of life for those less fortunate, for the poor.  Novak describes the capitalist system as a three-legged stool; a system that is based upon economic freedom, political freedom and moral responsibility. A weakness in any one leg and the stool topples. 

  11. Novak’s praise of the democratic capitalist system assumes that an appropriate system of checks and balances exists, such that a challenge or a weakness to either the economic and political freedoms within the system or the moral fiber of its leaders, would be almost immediately corrected.  I’m not so sure the old checks and balances still work.

  12. In fact, I have found myself drawn to discussions of God, of the Creator, and the fact that we are all created in His image – I think without a focus on the divine, we just won’t be able to shore up the moral responsibility leg of that capitalist stool. 

  13. I speak to people of faith about my personal life story, the importance of Biblical truth and integrity in business and about God’s perfect plan of redemption for us and how we actually get there.