思想 / 討論題目
誰是你最好的朋友？為何那人是你最好的朋友？ 你看重朋友的哪些特質？這與商場上的友誼有何異同之處？ 你是否同意聖經中所描述的友誼？為什麼？ 你是否曾為朋友犧牲，或朋友曾為你犧牲？請描述那情況，以及你的感受。註：若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文，請看：
THE VALUE OF RELATIONSHIPS
By: Jim Mathis
I discovered very early in my business career that, like almost everything else in life, business really is all about relationships. When I got my start in the photography business in 1973, an older gentleman named Elgin Smith took me under his wing and introduced me to people I needed to know.
Since that day I have seldom done business with anyone other than friends. I believe that friendship, or the potential for friendship, should be the first priority. It is all about whom you know and who knows you. I have joined the Overland Park and Leawood chambers of commerce and other organizations, primarily to meet new people and figure out who I want to do business with and count as my friends.
It has been said a person”s best friends are those that bring out the best in you. Looking for people who can encourage me, whom I can learn from, and who also want the best for themselves and those around them seem like solid criteria for evaluating and establishing new relationships.
I have learned that being a person that people want to spend time with is far more important than having a specific set of skills. In music, for example, the musicians that get the best jobs are not necessarily the ones with the best vocal or instrumental capabilities, but rather, the ones that other people want to be with and enjoy being around. The same is true, in varying degrees, for other professions as well.
This is part of the motivation behind the newsletter I send out weekly via e-mail. Without a doubt, I think it is a significant part of a good marketing strategy, but more importantly, the responses I receive help me to determine who I might want to do business with. If somebody isn”t interested in what I am doing, I most likely will not be interested in doing business with them either. That seems pretty straight forward to me.
If you want friends, be a friend. If you want people to be interested in you, be interested in them. This is a topic the Bible considers important, since it has much to say about it. Here is a sampling of its wisdom:
Friendship requires being a friend. True friendship is a mutually beneficial relationship, whether in business or in one personal life. We need to be willing to give as much of ourselves as we take from others. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly…” (Proverbs 18:24).
Friendship can be closer than family relationships. Our relationships with family members – parents, brothers, sisters, cousins and grandparents – are important, but sometimes because of proximity, time spent together, mutual interests and shared struggles, the bond of friendship can be even stronger. The rest of that verse states, “…but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
Friendship is consistent. Anyone can act like a friend when times are enjoyable and things are going well. But a true friend remains even during times that are difficult and not fun. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).
Friendship is often sacrificial. A true friend gives of himself or herself, even when it is not convenient – and even if it is costly. The ultimate example of this we see in Jesus Christ, who said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Jim Mathis is the owner of a photography studio in Overland Park, Kansas, specializing in executive, commercial and theatrical portraits. He formerly was a coffee shop manager and executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.
Who is your best friend? Why is that person your best friend? What are some of the qualities you look for in a friend? How does this discussion of friendship compare to how you have typically viewed “friendships” in business? Do you agree with the descriptions of friendship drawn from the Bible? Why or why not? Can you think of a time when friendship in your life required true sacrifice, whether on your part or that of a friend? Describe the situation – and how you felt about it.If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages:
Proverbs 14:20, 16:28, 27:5-6, 10; John 15:14-15; James 2:23, 4:4