I’ve always been a huge fan of Starbucks, which is slightly comical considering I don’t really have a love for coffee. In fact, I don’t even enjoy coffee. I do love making coffee though, and working at Starbucks seemed to be a very good fit for me. Not only did I get to serve people and talk to them about their day, but there was the added comfort of knowing I could work for this company anywhere in the country…anywhere in the WORLD even. It was a great source of security for me. I could have benefits, good pay, a great work environment. What wouldn’t be good about that? But all of that security went away three weeks ago, when I decided to quit.
Here’s what happened:
One day I was minding my own business at work when people started calling our store to tell us they weren’t going to be shopping at Starbucks anymore. I thought that was rather strange. What are the chances there would be more than one person on the same day, calling us to tell us they are removing their patronage? Pretty soon I’m finding out that Starbucks has made a public statement about how, as a company, they are in support of the push for same-sex-marriage, and are going to do everything they can to help proposed laws go into effect, in hopes the rest of our culture will follow.
This too I found strange. I didn’t think it was sensible for a corporation to take a political side on something, especially something of this magnitude. I decided, I needed to do some research and find out what was really going on and what was simply rumor. What I found was quite unsettling for my conscience.
I won’t go into the details because this isn’t about bashing Starbucks, it’s about where my allegiance should lay, and what I’m willing to lose in order to cling to what’s right.
The thing is… I can’t stand in partnership with a company standing on the side of sin. It has nothing to to do with the people, and everything to do with the principle. It would be one thing if Howard Schultz (Starbucks’ founder) had said he is personally in favor of certain laws and practices, and wants to push for them, but he didn’t. He said this is what his entire company is fighting for. I won’t be part of that fight, even if it means I forfeit my security.
So…as of this Saturday, I will no longer be an employee of Starbucks Coffee Company.
It’s funny because almost exactly a year ago I had this very pivotal conversation with The Lord, where He reminded me of His exhortation over and over in the gospels: For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it (Mk 8:35).
For this particular situation, the verse I found most striking was 1 Cor. 6: 14, Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
You know what I’ve come to realize? The hard decisions we’re called to make are hardly ever ones that are clearly black and white. At least for me, the hard decisions are more often than not, am I going to stand still, or am I going to intentionally move toward Him?