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October 2, 1997

Joint Venture (Part One)

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Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. ECCLESIASTES 4:9
Partnership is such a great idea. A life at work is full of all kinds of ups and downs that are difficult to face alone. Work was God’s idea all the way back in Genesis 1, but the Fall in Genesis 3 made that good idea much harder to achieve: Adam was forced to work “by the sweat of [his] brow” (Genesis 3:19).
None of us has ever met anybody at the end of a career who told us that the entire experience was like eating a great piece of cake—that it was all easy and fun, that stress was never part of the equation, and that he loved every minute of it. Give us a break! Finding someone to share the load is inherently appealing. Who wants to carry the burden alone?
Solomon interrupts his logical train of thought in this chapter to recommend a joint approach to work. He suggests that it is better to have someone who can share the load and help carry the burden, someone (or perhaps more than just one individual) who can be a sounding board in developing strategy, making difficult phone calls, getting the business, and defending against the competition.
Partnership can take on many different forms: a fifty-fifty ownership split in a business, colleagues on a work team, two friends at work who work through difficult issues together, or prayer partners who are willing to wrestle corporate issues to the mat in God’s presence.
Do you have someone who shoulders the burden of work with you, someone who will be there to help you up when you fall down? According to Solomon, a life at work with someone else looks much different than a life at work by yourself.

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