God's desire is for us to be in a relationship with Him. He wants us to trust, love and depend on Him and Him alone. In the garden of eden God walked with Adam, talked with Adam and had a relationship with Adam. Sin entered the world and destroyed that relationship, but God in all his goodness and grace sent Jesus to be a bridge to restore that relationship between us and God. God has always desired us to be in relationship with him, but also with others. In Genesis God said, "It's not good for man to be alone" so he made Eve. The reason I am saying all of this is because God wants us to be in relationships, with Him and with others, so why wouldn't he want the same with our businesses? Why are we quick to help a friend in need but slow to help another business in need? Are we afraid that if we help them they are going to surpass us and be better than us?
Brooke and I went to Las Vegas for WPPI and we got the chance to listen to the wonderful Dane Sanders who touched on this point by saying, "If we tell everyone our secrets we will have to find new ways to be better and if we all get better we all win." I love a lot of things about Dane Sanders, but what really inspires me is the way that he wants to make everyone better at being a photographer. There are a lot of photographers in the industry that aren't friendly. They don't like new photographers, they don't want to help anyone because they are afraid that if they do they will eliminate their own jobs. It's the same in the t-shirt industry. There is so much negativity on the blogs and forums out there because t-shirt companies don't want other t-shirt companies to succeed. They are afraid that if another succeeds that means they will fail.
I used to struggle with jealousy toward other clothing companies, but over the past year God has really been working on my heart to show me that if we aren't stingy with our advice and look to help each other, everyone wins. It all goes back to everything being relational. I don't think God has different plans for our personal and business lives. Our business should be another extension where we can express the love and grace of Christ to the world. We shouldn't be relational with our social life and stingy in our business life. We should look to bless the start-ups in the same way we look to bless friends and family in need. Being the light of the world is about using every venue you have to express the love of Christ, so let's start using our businesses to do this.
Imagine with me for a second if every Christian business owner looked to bless someone in the same industry that wasn't a Christian? Jesus says, "love your enemies" and I think that can translate to the business world as, "love your competition."