walking reflection


“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

— John [4:24]


One of my clients was debating about starting a partnership and was seeking an opinion. From hearing about his potential partner from my client, I told him I believed it would be a fruitful relationship. The potential partner was smart, had good experience, and would help with the initial required working capital. However, while these are great starting points, they are not the final answer. The answer lies in which way his mirror points. In other words, when you engage in a conversation, does what you say come right back to you or are your partner’s responses thought through? Will differences of opinion with this partner end up right back in your lap? Does the other person take a shared accountability for the relationship or just turn the mirror back? 

“Everything always starts out well in partnerships, but the inevitable disagreements will arise. It is this part of the partnership that determines success.”

All partnerships will have disagreements. Marriages, friendships, and business arrangements are all partnerships. Everything always starts out well in partnerships, but the inevitable disagreements will arise. It is this part of the partnership that determines success. When we have a partner who takes our input, reflects on our point of view, and responds with logical conclusions, we feel that we have a voice, even if our partner doesn’t agree with everything we say. But when our concerns are just pointed back to us, we don’t feel like we have a voice. We ask for a conversation and we get back criticism. The conversation has generally ended at the point that the mirror is turned back. The conversation becomes one of deflection, not resolution. When this happens, the truth gets buried and the trust bank gets a withdrawal. 

“When we communicate with God in the back of our minds, it is easy to be truthful.”

Jesus points this out in the Book of John. If we want to have truth in our relationships, it must come from a spirit of being truthful. When we communicate with God in the back of our minds, it is easy to be truthful. This strengthens our partnerships. Our mirror is then always pointed to ourselves. When we deflect difficult conversations back to the other person, we aren’t searching for the truth, we are searching for our way.

As my client and I discussed his potential partner’s mirroring ability, he came to the conclusion that his partner had his mirror pointed the right way. In their past, conversations had been mutual. Disagreements were resolved without getting personal. They focused on the issue and not the person. There was an interchange searching for the truth. His partner usually responded by first telling my client what he agreed with and then where he was concerned. In turn he would ask my client for his thoughts. This process would go back and forth until they reached an agreement. Both parties had a spirit of searching for the truth. Neither had a mirror of deflection.

“Any work that is meant to help others and gives glory to God has sacred value.”

Hard work is important. It is better than plans that are left undone. But hard work whose purpose is to help someone else is more meaningful. It makes our businesses stronger. Our customers will notice this subtle difference. The attitude seeps into our work and becomes the light of that work. Hard work that is done with thought of giving glory to God inspires us to not miss any detail. It makes our work more sacred. It makes us try harder. We are doing our work  in a holy manner. Any work that is meant to help others and through our efforts give glory to God has sacred value. Like John’s samples, it serves to inspire.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman



Who do we work for?

Do we work harder when our work is for someone else and for God? 


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