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Jun 30


Posted by: Steve Marr

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Frequently in today's business environment, people burn their bridges to other people or relationships.  Someone has a bad experience, becomes angry or frustrated and they terminate a business relationship. However scripture gives us a different model: “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14, NIV)


In a number of instances I have terminated business relationships for various reasons.  Perhaps I didn't require the service or I may have located a less costly provider or encountered service difficulties. In these situations I always endeavored to end the relationship on a positive note rather than allowing a conversation to degenerate into trash talk. One consideration is that I may want to do business with a person in the future. If I burn my bridge, I won’t want to pick up the phone and call.

“Ken” had employees resign from time to time and generally adapted an attitude that everyone who left wasn't worth keeping anyway.  He wrote them off as disloyal.  The very day they gave notice, Ken started treating them like the enemy.

In my business experience, more than one time I've been able to hire somebody back after they left. One person was terminated largely over problems with alcoholism.  However, after losing two other jobs; the former employee was able to stop drinking. We rehired this person and were pleased with the outstanding performance of this former employee.

When I was involved with international trade, occasionally we had a customer move to a competitor. In each situation we cooperated fully with the transition.  We never got angry even if we were disappointed.  We maintained an upbeat and professional demeanor through all dealings. As a result, when our competitor could not meet the expectations of our former customer and wanted to come back to our firm, we accepted their return. If we burned the bridge the customer would have called somebody else, not us.

In any relationship, whether personal, professional or church related; as Christians we need to be careful that we are peacemakers. We work to live in harmony with everyone including Christians and non-Christians. If non-Christians feel rejection because we are bridge burners in our relationships, why would they want to ask about following Christ? As we work to build bridges instead of burning them, our businesses and relationships will improve.

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