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Monday, March 27, 2017

Is. 65:17-25; Ps. 30:1-6, 11-13; Jn. 4:43-54

One of our business responsibilities is to recommend to our clients which firms they should hire for their projects.   As a result, firms that are lobbying to be chosen often invite us to functions in hopes of developing an inside track and influencing our recommendations.  Because we must act impartially in our analyses of competing firms, we frequently decline, and always pay our own way whenever we do accept an invitation.  Our philosophy is to be professional and friendly with everyone but to eschew personal relationships with business acquaintances that can give even the appearance of conflict of interest.

With rare exceptions, I have avoided friendships with people who seek business from our clients.  One of those exceptions involved another Christian in the industry who became a close friend.  At one point while he was under enormous pressure from his firm, he asked me to shift business to him.  He suggested that since we were both Christians, I should show him preferential treatment.  He felt that it would be an understandable gesture of friendship whereas I believed it would destroy my professional integrity.  Eventually, he lost a large assignment that he had counted on and tried to retaliate against the client and me in very personal ways.  It destroyed our friendship and damaged his career.

I was hurt and angry in a way that consumed me, but I was concerned about his job and family.  Nightly, I began to pray that God would help him salvage his career.  As I did so, my anger and hurt began to dissipate, even though sadness over the loss of the friendship remained.  I began to realize that God was using my prayers for my friend and his family to heal me.   It was an unexpected and most welcome blessing.

–Jerry Ford