So as a writer/blogger/guy with a computer I have found that a lot of my free time, which I have very little of, is spent looking for new inspiration, new connections, and new content that will help me be a better communicator of the mess in my head. As I was on what I like to think of as a inspiration safari I stumbled across a site called Gospel Driven Entrepreneur. The site is run by a really passionate guy named P.J. Simmons and the concept is both simple and genius. Basically, P.J. hunts down entrepreneurs who using their lives to change the world in way that honors Jesus and the principles of the Gospel.
While there I listened to the very first podcast which was an interview with Van Baird who is an insurance guy by day and an entrepreneurial visionary by night. Van, who has the coolest name on the planet, was discussing his latest project called Relational Equity which is training available to small business and churches that believes that an organization's greatest asset is their people and works are to treat them as such. This phrase “Relational Equity” really resonated with me. I found myself thinking on it for a long time after the podcast had ended, massaging it’s meaning out and considering what it means for not only a business but a person to begin to see people as assets.
At first this idea troubled me. I see a lot of the world through the lense of my past and in my past I was a manipulative and selfish jerk. I had no problem using people to meet my needs. So this idea of Relational Equity at first reminded me of those old habits. It was a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” approach to relationships. But as I listened to Van a little more he spoke about his desire to be a “sweet aroma” to others and his longing to be in genuine relationship with the people around him and his request of God to help him love people like he has been loved by God.
I began to think of the financial roots of the word “equity” and how the word is tied very closely to shared ownership between people. I considered the people in my life who I have shared ownership with in relationships and the incredible added value they bring to my relational bottom line. I began to make a mental list of these people and consider who has more invested in each relationship, who was absolving the most risk and who was reaping the most benefit. In those few quiet moments at 4:00am this morning I realized that I am a rich man. I am filthy, stinking, Scrooge McDuck swimming in the safe, rich. I am Richie Rich rich! I have wealth that trumps Trump! See what I did there? ;-) I have a long list of incredible people that I do life with that each share mutual responsibility in maintaining our relationship and in turn reap mutual benefits.
So, how did a selfish manipulative jerk get so many friends and amass so much relational equity?
I sought an advisor
I made smart Investments
I kept honest accounts
Over the next week we will discuss each of these principles in depth one post at a time, but for now I’ll simply say this If “get rich quick” schemes don’t work then neither do “get loved quick” schemes.
We have spent the last month talking about what it means to be loved and I hope along the way you’ve understood what it looks like and what it doesn’t. We all want to be loved but because we see the world through the warped lense of our past we all have twisted understanding of what love is. I hope you’ve come to understand that love is a choosing of honest, authentic, and real relating to one another where we are mutually invested in the relationship and willing to challenge and encourage each other for our individual good. Love is out there, but it requires risk. I hope you find the courage.