Who’s on your side? Who’s on your team? Who can you count on
when you’re in trouble?
I recently read an interview with Tom Hanks. He was promoting his
movie ‘Castaway’. There is a scene in the movie where Hanks, the
business man, is stopped in his car at a crossroads. Apparently it is
quite a movie moment. The interviewer asked Hanks whether this was
a metaphor for his own life – at the crossroads and trying to decide
which way to go. Hanks’ reply was, to me, remarkable and profound:
he said, “No of course not, it’s the wrong question, the question is
who’s with you in the car?”
So who is with you in your work? Choosing partners or colleagues is
an important business. It’s possible to be spiritually wise or spiritually
naive in this approach. Shepherd-turned-prophet Amos asks us, “How
can two walk together unless they are agreed?” Paul warns of the real
danger of an unequal yoke. At the very least, partners should be in
agreement. The agreement should be on the vision and values. But
beyond that they should be walking together deepening their
understanding of each other, carrying each other’s loads and being
there for each other. Attention needs to be paid to spiritual
compatibility as well as professional competence.
Many people just simply find themselves working with someone else or in a
particular team. There are subtle choices even in these situations.
Seeking out the most like-minded colleague in a situation can be an
enormous source of support (I am not advocating avoidance of all
creative difference here which is another subject). But for longer-term
strategic partnerships we need great wisdom. Jesus prayed all night
before He chose the twelve, and he knew about people. Throughout
biblical history there are examples of those who chose well and those
who messed up. Arguably, it is better to be alone than with the wrong
So if you are, for example, in law, medicine or business and you are
choosing a new partner, spend the time, effort and prayer that is
required. Ask God who looks on the heart to help you see the right
people – people who will do you good and whom you can trust. Some
of you may be in the wrong partnership and need the courage to
dissolve it. Others may be in the right partnership but not walking well,
in which case it needs to be strengthened.
Whatever the case Jesus’ promise is that his yoke is easy and light and,
as you walk with him, you can learn from him. One thing you can
count upon as you walk with him in partnership is that he will teach
you the meaning of real partnership. The important question is ‘who’s
in the car’ with you?
3Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
2 Corinthians 6:14
14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17″Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18″I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
28″Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
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