Friendships in the LIFE Business
A big part of the LIFE business is about making friends. I have been associated with Orrin Woodward in business for almost a decade now. We have become great friends while building a business and pursuing our purpose.
It is amazing how before I started in the LIFE business, I had a couple of good friends I could really count on. Now, after being part of LIFE, I could not even begin to count the friendships I have.
Let me give you on example. When Lisa and I bought our first home, we had a housewarming party to celebrate our big mortgage, I mean purchase! I would like to say the house was packed and we were swimming in gifts; however, we could barely get a dozen people to come over, including family!
Multiply your friends in LIFE
A few years ago, after being in the LIFE business for just five years, we purchased a new home. We were excited to share this home with friends, so we decided to have a party (this time asking for no gifts), a little afraid of repeating the results of our last party. The turnout was a bit different! We ended up having three separate parties, each with over 200 guests in attendance! Let’s just say we did not make fast friends with the neighbors, but we realized we had more friends than we could have ever hoped for.
Friends for life in the LIFE Business
Not only have we been blessed with an abundance of friends, but we have developed many close, lifelong friendships through this community.
Today I wanted to share a small excerpt of one of my favorite books of all time: RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE by Orrin Woodward. This section of the book does an amazing job of describing what true friendship is—the kind of friendships Lisa and I have been able to find in LIFE!
A trusted friend is loyal to his friends when he is in front of them and, more importantly, when they are not present. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Loyalty doesn’t mean taking a friend’s side on any issue, right or wrong; rather, it means one is a friend, right or wrong. People must defend a friend’s character, honor, and reputation as far as the truth allows while helping to resolve any issue privately and promptly. Lincoln said, “A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have,” which is true as long as the truth is on the side of the friend. The key principle to follow is loyalty to the absent, protecting the character of those who are not present to stand up for themselves. For example, if you wouldn’t say something about a person who is in the room you are in, then why would you say it when he isn’t in the same room? Sadly, when this principle is abused, a person quickly gains the reputation of being a talebearer who can no longer be respected or trusted as a true friend.
What if two friends fall into a conflict and place their mutual friends in the middle? In this situation, a mutual true friend would bring the two conflicting friends together in a spirit of reconciliation. Both parties must follow the conflict resolution principles (to be covered in the Conflict Resolution Chapter). If either side refuses to follow the principles, the refusing party violates the trust of all who are involved. What good is it to have principles if they are not followed when needed? Self-deception can blind a friend. As Maxwell wrote, “If you are not honest with yourself, you will not be capable of honesty with others. Self-deception is the enemy of relationships. It also undermines personal growth. If a person does not admit his shortcomings, he cannot improve.” At this point, a person must address his friend privately and promptly to point out his friend’s blind spot, praying that his friend will return to the principles that are based on virtue and are expected from all true friends. Friends are loyal to one another, only abandoning a friendship when a friend refuses to return to the principles of virtue and honor after numerous attempts by friends to help. Simply put, loyalty to a friend only ends where untruth begins. Even in this sad situation, former friends should maintain confidence where possible and hold on to the hope that in the future, restoration will happen when principles of virtue are restored in the lost individual. Loyalty, fidelity, and honor are the foundations of lifelong friendships, though they are seldom seen in today’s society. Next to truth as the most valued principle of friendship is loyalty, which forms the glue that holds friendships together during the storms of life.
True friendship is a lost art in today’s “me” generation, and this increases the value of a friend. The best way to find friends of such caliber is to be one, which is why developing the art and science of friendship is one of the thirteen resolutions. If someone dies having had several true friends, then he is a blessed man. A person must make a commitment to give to each of his relationships more than he receives. Although simple in theory, this is much tougher in practice, especially with true friends. A friendship brings so much joy and fun into one’s life that it should be cultivated as a fine art. Conversely, damaged relationships bring so much pain into one’s life that conflicts should be resolved promptly. Resolve the issues rather than dissolve the friendship, if at all possible. A person’s real wealth isn’t his net worth but his relationships with God, his family, and his friends. No amount of money can mend a damaged relationship or purchase the joy and happiness experienced in a true friendship. Regardless of the fickleness and fecklessness witnessed in the world, resolve today to give others the fidelity and faithfulness of a true friend.