Have you ever met an important person that you really looked up to? Like most people, I think those kinds of exchanges can bring all of our insecurities to the surface. One time on a ministry trip with the Vineyard to England in which John Wimber was the conference speaker, I woke up very early in the morning because of jet lag. As soon as the restaurant opened, I was the first one there.
After a few minutes eating alone, the resturant door opened and John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard walked in. For about three years I had been a part of the Vineyard, but it had been a year or two since I had spoken with him in person. As soon as he got his breakfast, he came over and sat right across the table.
I had so much respect for John; for his teaching, his leadership, and his role in devoloping the Vineyard. I was certainly nervous, but he was exceptionally kind. Over the next half hour, John just sat and talked to me. He asked how I was doing, about my family, and about the church.
After he excused himself and returned to his room, I sat there a little stunned. I had heard John teach on several occasions about the importance of relationship and being real in the way we interact with people, but now I had experienced John relate to me with humility and kindness. I was a nobody, pastoring an insignificant church, and John was a leader of hundreds of churches and a prominent international church leader. As I sat thinking about our exchange I thought, “That’s probably a little bit like what it would have been like to run into Jesus.” And then I quickly resolved, “That’s how I want to treat people too!”
The seventh dimension of a disciple in The Discipleship Difference is AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS. Logan and Ridley define authentic relationships as engaging with other people in ways that reflect the heart of God toward them. It involves behaviors like:
- Showing respect for all people
- Forgiving others and asking forgiveness
- Confronting others with humility as necessary
- Praying with and for others
- Supporting each other honestly through life challenges.
(The Discipleship Difference, p. 31)
QUESTION: HOW COULD YOU ADJUST THE WAY YOU RELATE TO PEOPLE TO REFLECT THE HEART OF GOD TOWARD THEM?