Iron sharpens iron,; and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
Over and over I keep seeing messages confirming the importance of purposeful partnerships. I believe that we are all created for relationship – whether that be familial, platonic, business or romantic. We can’t survive alone. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. However, it is imperative that we are linked up with the right people and that we are aware of what their purpose is in our lives.
I watched a video with Devon Franklin speaking where he said that just because you look good together, it doesn’t mean you are good together. He was speaking of dating and marriage, but I find this truth to remain across relationships. We tend to try to build relationships based upon things that really don’t matter in God’s eyes. He uses the foolish things to confound the wise. He looks on the intent of the heart and not the outward appearance. I have tried to do business with people with whom it would appear that our relationship could be very fruitful but it ended in shambles. I have also tried to cross business relationships into friendships and vice versa. And of course I have chosen to date people because they look good on paper but we were a terrible fit. Knowing the purpose of your relationships can save you so much heartache and stress because you aren’t expecting someone to play a role that they are not suited to fill.
I am single and desire to be married someday. I am always asked – namely by family – when I am getting married and having kids. Sure, I have dated and met some amazing (and not so amazing) people but I am not dating aimlessly. At this point, if I can’t see purpose in our coming together, I am quick to end a relationship. If there is no fruit, why am I there? One thing I hate is wasting my time. In the past 10 years of dating, there has probably only been one person that I can honestly say I have seen promise and purpose between us. Everyone else I outgrew at some point because we weren’t equally yoked (or they downright got on my nerve).
I have outgrown friendships as well. I believe if you have the same exact group of friends as a 30-something that you had in high school, you are either blessed or cursed. It is up to you to decipher which one. Because growing at the same rate and maintaining the same relational purpose over that many years is as rare as finding a unicorn peeing liquid gold under a rainbow. Don’t stagnate yourself because you are afraid to outpace your friends. Seasons change and so do people. And that is totally okay. No one needs to feel guilty for moving on or limiting time spent with friends who aren’t on the same page.
Purposeful partnerships should bear fruit. It is simple. I have a friend whom I call my “billionaire buddy”. He is also an entrepreneur who has the same heart for our community and drive for success that I have. We encourage and hold each other accountable. Our friendship is fruitful because we are honest with one another, we look out for one another, and where I am weak, he is strong and vice versa (he actually is the inspiration behind this post because he sent me the opening verse to think on). I value our friendship and I know the place that he serves in my life.
Take an assessment of what happens when you link up with the squad or the energy that you feel when working with someone. Is bae leading you to Christ, encouraging you and speaking life into you? Or are they leading you down the wrong path? Do you have to drag them along because they have no vision or virtue? If your answers are more like the latter, you may want to consider whether they have a place in your life.