“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
I have to tell you, as a reformed Type A personality (please remember to leave Regyna out of this), I can be tough to deal with in personal and professional relationships. But as I have grown older and wiser I understand the power of relationships and their importance to our success. As entrepreneurs everything we do relies on how successfully we foster and maintain relationships.
Why are relationships important? Because the people you interact with will determine the level of success or failure you have. We are all here to help each other. Our gifts and wisdom are vital to support the plans of others. Keep in mind, if our Father wants to bless us, He will send a person. If the enemy wants to derail you, he will also send a person. All great relationships are built on a foundation of trials, triumphs and trust. If one of these aspects is missing then the relationship may teeter and fail. It’s our job to maintain our relationships through these areas to achieve our missions. Let’s look at examples of each facet of successful relationships.
Nothing will tell you the quality of a relationship like a trial. Everyone is going through something in their lives, business, or ministry. Many times we try to keep those situations private. But when we do share them, they often become the dividing factor of the relationships. True relationships are forged in a cauldron of trials. We are told in Proverbs 17:17 that, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
I believe we have trials to learn three things.
- The quality of the relationship we have with our Father
- What we really mean to Him, our value.
- Who will stand by us through the tough time.
It’s real simple: If you can’t stand by me during the tough times, you can’t celebrate with me during the great times.
If people will leave you high and dry during trials, they’ll do the opposite when you’re on top. But don’t be fooled. Fair weather folks are often silently watching and waiting for you to fall, trying to cause your demise, or taking advantage of your fortune and good will. Look at Nehemiah 6:1–2 “When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that no gap was left in it — though at that time I had not installed the doors in the gates — Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message: ‘Come, let’s meet together in the villages of the Ono Valley.’ But they were planning to harm me.” These men were determined to destroy the good work Nehemiah was doing. All the time with a smile.
You have to trust the people who are helping you build your dreams and in turn you must be trustworthy in all you do. Solomon put it this way in Proverbs 11:13, “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” Having people in your corner who have your best interest in mind, can be counted on to give wise counsel and keep it to themselves is more precious than gold. And it’s our job to treat the relationship that way.
Stephen Covey said it best:
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
Make it your mission to build trusting relationships that thrive in the good and bad times. Invest in them and watch your success grow!
About James R. Cooper
James R. Cooper is a Business Strategist, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Maxser Consulting Group, LLC, Pastor of Restoration International Christian Ministries and author of From Crackers to Caviar: A Guide to Personal Development. James is on the board of several non-profit organizations and is also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. For more information about James, book him to speak at your next event, seminar, or workshop, go to www.fromcrackers2caviar.com or www.maxsergroup.com.