“Come, meet me face to face.” – 2 Kings 14:8
In sporting events tie-breakers are accomplished through playoffs, overtime, extra innings, sudden death, or photo-finishes. In almost every other circumstance of life, though, when all else is equal, relationships are the ultimate tie-breakers.
During my many years working in the highly competitive investment banking industry I found this to be especially true. When investment banking services are needed it is common practice to invite selected firms to submit written proposals for their solutions. Once reviewed they are then invited to appear in person for oral presentations. Given that most investment banking firms submitting proposals are fairly competent in terms of expertise, and all else being fairly equal such as price for services, structure, procedures, and marketing capabilities, it all comes down to that personal eyeball-to-eyeball encounter. It is only when humans communicate verbally face to face, looking one another in the eye, being close enough to shake hands, watching as well as listening to ideas and responding to questions do relationships emerge and trust develop. Who, after all, has ever been hired for a job based strictly on a résumé without a personal interview?
Humans are relational beings. And in deference to the proliferation of written communication in this electronic age, Facebook, Twitter, texting, and email will never fully replace the need for personal contact. Recorded music will never be as exhilarating as live performances. Talking on the phone with a friend while sipping coffee will never replace meeting that friend at Starbucks. Food will never be as satisfying as when shared with someone else. And perfection will never replace the trust that emerges from relationships.
Beyond the basics of food and shelter every other human need is social, satisfied only through relationships with others, and the more genuine those relationships the deeper the trust and satisfaction. That is why families are created, friendships are made, and communities are formed. And that is also why in almost every circumstance of life, when all else is equal, relationships are the ultimate tie-breakers.