I have been a business professional for more than 45 years and I have often found myself in a networking environment. The dictionary defines networking as “the art of building and sustaining mutually beneficial relationships.” That has not been my understanding during my career. Corporate America teaches us to bargain; to get more than you give. I had accepted that model as fact for a long time, but recently God’s voice has been whispering, “Is that the way the Lord Jesus would network?’
But God is confronting me on this lie and saying “Wait a minute, I gave you the Golden Rule for a reason, read it again with fresh eyes.” The Bible states in Matthew, “Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.” (Matt. 7:12, the Message) Have we been faithful in putting our faith into action and followed these principles? What is the lesson here? It’s really simple…take the focus off yourself and focus on others.
Careers definition of Networking with Integrity might read;
Networking With Integrity is the process by which like-minded people come together to encourage, care for, and inspire each other; to seek God’s next step in life’s journey.”
Wow, that’s different! That’s really a strange perspective by corporate standards, how can you get ahead by putting someone else first?
Can you see that this is what the Lord has been teaching us all along? It is not about asking for favors. It’s about loving each other, and in the process, helping each other at every opportunity.
Are you seeing the difference between the world’s view and God’s view of networking? Paul encourages us in Galatians, “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get a chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” (Galatians 6: 9-10, The Message)
Begging for favors is a dead-end approach. Start Networking With Integrity by asking “How can I help you”? or “How can I pray for you”? The truth is you can help every single person you meet. Try it and begin looking for God-ordained moments to begin happening all around you.