I was eighteen, just graduated from High School, when I was greeted that summer morning on the construction site by the Forman with, “So you are the Boy Scout we have head about.” It was not said in a complimentary manner and he wasn’t referring to the actual Boy Scouts. He was referring to the recommendation that had preceded  my employment of being a ‘goody two shoes.’

Soon it was common knowledge among the workers that I was a bit different. How different? Well, I happened to believe that the law of chastity was sacred, that drinking and smoking were not something good for my body,  and that the basic tenants of Christianity were worth living.
For the next several months I was constantly challenged regarding my beliefs. Vile things were said to my face on a daily basis. It became unbearable for me.  Each morning I was treated to questioning from the eight men I worked with regarding my morals and I was repeatedly shown pornographic images that were posted about the site. The language was very course and vile regarding my moral code and on more than one occasion I found himself sitting alone in my car eating lunch praying for strength that somehow I could endure another day behind the gates of Hell.

The personal persecution became so intense that eventually I quit the good paying job, as the benefit of the monetary gain was overcome by the pain and suffering inflicted. I lost the job, but I kept my standards. In retrospect, I don’t think they were bad guys, just men who were having a little fun at my expense. And actually, when I was alone with each one, they were very decent to me. But in a group, they seemed to follow the ‘pack’ mentality of being ‘men’ as they understood it.

That experience and it’s feelings has stayed with me for over forty years. Harassment has many different shapes, faces, and forms. But no matter how it is masked, it is always ugly.

There are many ‘Boy Scouts’ out there working in environments that are less than desirable who can’t afford to lose their jobs. Perhaps you are one! Don’t’ lose courage, keep the faith, and don’t compromise your standards! Follow the counsel of Paul:
“ O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…” (1 Timothy 6:11-12)

Times have changed since my experience and most companies have policies and personnel in place to handle inappropriate behavior in the workplace.  However, every individual is alone in dealing with their particular situation and must make a decision in how to handle it. But no one should have to put up with harassment in any form.

Jesus Christ told Peter that on the rock of revelation he would build his church. He told him that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt. 16: 18) Take courage that as the ‘gate’ opens and closes each day when you enter the workplace, that if we seek personal revelation for power and strength, the Lord will help guide us in what to do.  From one ‘Boy Scout’ to another, take courage!

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