John 13:34 says, “Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another.” This mandate to love as Christ loved causes us to put a very, very high premium on our relationships. Relationships really do matter. Always. It also causes us to listen well and not just wait for our turn to speak.
You’ve heard of the “friend-zone,” right? I think there’s also something called the “vendor-zone.” Oftentimes, companies like ours are viewed as vendors only – just an entity who you outsource work to and expect it to be done in a timely manner. There is no relationship or shared goal in this scenario. That’s not what we’re aiming for.
A pretty funny example of this is from a few years ago when we were stuck in the “vendor-zone” with a client. Things with this client had already been a little tense and a lot of our ideas had been met with pushback and criticism. It was becoming clear to me that we were not aligned well with this client, but I decided to not exit the project early and try to finish the website well.
During one conversation, I mentioned to the client that we usually put a small line of text at the bottom of our clients’ websites that says something like “made with love by Yellow Leaf Marketing.” Their response to this was as follows: “There will be absolutely no third party advertising on my website!”
Well…I did get a good laugh from this, but it was also pretty troubling for me. We weren’t a good fit at all because we were stuck in the “vendor-zone.” There was no shared passion or shared goal. We were simply there to design and code. I learned a lot from those few months working with this client. I learned that our first priority needs to be a true relationship, where there is mutual respect and admiration for one another.
Thankfully we have incredible relationships with our clients today. We hardly ever feel like we’re slaving away in the “vendor-zone,” but that we’re a valuable part of their team — in it with them, day-to-day marching forward toward a shared goal.
To my Christian brothers and sisters who find themselves sitting down at their computer this morning/afternoon/evening jumping into another week of work, trying to find purpose in it and having a hard time of seeing past the to-do list and finding true meaning, ask yourself these questions: “Who are you working for?” and “Do real relationships exist with your coworkers and clients?”
This week, may we see past our tasks and see how serving our work is a labor of pure love… love for our Creator and the First Worker, God Almighty, and for our neighbor.
Just a reminder, our 8×10 Word Art LOVE is available for download below:
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