Tag Archives: Buddy Up

Carte Blanche Companions

 

Joab confronts the grieving King David
Joab confronts the grieving King David

Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, “Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come on you from your youth till now.” 2 Samuel 19:5-7 (NIV)

One of the most fascinating aspects of my day job is the opportunity I have to work with many different companies and to interact with people at diverse levels of the organization from the front-line to the executive suite. Long ago I realized that the culture of a company is a trickle-down affair that begins with the man or woman at the very top. I remember one client whose CEO ran the company by fear and intimidation. No one would stand up to him, even when he is clearly mistaken or making a wrong move, for fear of losing their proverbial heads in a board meeting (and, perhaps, their jobs). The result was a highly dysfunctional organization which mirrored the CEO. The entire corporate culture was one of intimidation, fear, and c.y.a. which permeated virtually every level of the operation.

One of the things I’ve observed about David as we’ve been reading his story the past few months is the fact that David had a select group of men in his life who could get in his face and call him to account even if they had to be careful about how they did it. In today’s chapter, David’s general and right-hand man Joab confronts David about the grave danger he’s putting himself in by allowing his grief for Absalom overshadow his duty as king. The kingdom was in a precarious political situation and David was close to losing it all. Joab lost no time in getting in David’s face and speaking the truth to him. To his credit, David listened to his long-time trusted general and advisor.

I have a handful of people in my life, people with whom I have intentionally surrounded myself, who have carte blanche to get in my face whenever necessary. These are people with whom I talk about and share life with on a regular basis. We talk about business, church, family, friendships, finances, and relationships. If they think I’m screwing something up, then they have permission to question me or call me out, and they would expect the same from me.

This journey through life can be a long hike. The first rule any child learns about hiking in the wilderness is “buddy up.” To go it alone is to put yourself in danger. Ironically, our greatest danger often resides within ourselves. Without faithful companions who can catch it and call us out, we may not realize it until it’s too late.

Today, I’m thankful for my faithful companions on this life journey.

 

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Chapter-a-Day Jude 1

“Buddy Up!”
source: Richard Masoner via Flickr

“But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith….” Jude 1:20a (NLT)

Any boy scout or girl scout worth their cookies knows that when you go hiking in the wilderness you should never go alone. “Buddy up!” It’s a simple rule that resonates with so much wisdom for so many reasons. Even on a good and safe hike, we need companionship. There’s always opportunities to give one another a lift, challenge one another to push ourselves, and encourage one another to keep moving. If, God forbid, things go wrong we need someone who can help us, provide for us or who can go for help.

“Buddy up!” is as equally important on a spiritual journey. God said it at the very beginning: It’s not good for us to be alone. The whole thrust of Jude’s short and sweet letter is the encouragement to be careful with whom we buddy up. If we’re not careful, we can choose companions who will lead us astray, look out only for themselves, and selfishly abandon us when things get difficult in order to save their own necks. The companions we need are those who will always believe the best in us, always hope the best for us, always trust us to seek the after the right path and who always persevere with us through trials on it.

Today, I’m grateful for my friends and companions on this sojourn. Those who walked the journey with me for a season, as well as those who are companions for life. Choose wisely those with whom you walk life’s road. They influence the journey more than any of us generally realize.