day 205: Buddy Program

One of the places I worked had at the time of the companies founding, established what was called a “Buddy Program”. The Buddy Program was designed to help assimilate and orient new employees when they joined the company. The thought was that if you had a buddy from day-one who you could call on for questions or advice that you would be more successful at entering the company and that you would be a lot less lonely in those early days. If you were a buddy you were given a booklet of lunch coupons to take your new employee to lunch and introduce him/her to other people, etc. It became somewhat of an honor to be someone’s buddy and I can remember years later when the veterans of the company would talk about the infancy days of the organization; they could actually name who was who’s buddy and the buddies got a lot of credit for the success of the people who were still with the company. One woman used to brag about how she was the buddy of the current CEO when he joined the company…nearly 20 years earlier. It was a program that worked because it was based on the simple fundamental principle that everyone needs a friend at work. We all need friends at work, I would say even more so than anywhere else outside of our homes. Work can be a place where friendship can be distorted and what feels like a friend on the surface is not really a friend but only someone who is there with you when things are going well, but the minute there is a problem they are gone or hanging with another set of people. True friends at work are hard to find. As ones who are in pursuit of living out our purpose in our jobs, being a true friend to others is part of what we need to be doing. In James 2:23 the best of all friendships is modeled for us. James says this about the relationship between Abraham and God: “And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.” Sometimes it is hard to fathom that God wants and needs friends. But He does. He wants us to be His friend as much as He desired the friendship of Abraham. He also looks to us to model His way with others so us being friends with others falls into the shadow that He cast for us to follow. Today at work you already know someone who needs a friend. It could be any circumstance on the job or at home that has someone down and feeling lonely or frustrated. It may be that you know someone who is going through a rough patch in their career or job search and by you just taking the time today to drop them an email or a phone call, or a visit, offering your help and support, as a friend and as a buddy, will make all the difference in the world to them. Our culture today is all about “friending” one another on social networks. See if you can go one step further today and truly be a buddy to someone who needs one.

Reference: James 2:23 (New Living Testament)