Friday, February 18, 2005

Changing a relationship by changing oneself

Yesterday I met with Jason Harrison, the president of Evergreen Leaders. He told me a great story about how one can change a relationship by changing oneself.

A woman in his church keeps raising a ruckus in one way or another. Awhile back her behavior was really bothering Jason and he felt like he ought to talk to the woman about how she was acting. Rhiannon, Jason’s wife, thought he should call her too and tell her what he thought.

Just before he was going to call the woman, Rhiannon said, “If you could say anything in the world to her, what would you say?”

Jason’s eyes lit up as he thought about all the things he could say. The first thing he thought of was to tell the woman that he knew that she had a miserable time growing up but that didn’t mean that she should re-create the same misery in their church.

He continued to ponder Rhiannon’s question. “If I could say anything in the world what would I say?” Suddenly he thought, I could tell her, ‘God loves her and I love you too.’ He immediately knew that of all the things in the world he could say, that’s what he wanted to say to the woman.

So that’s what he did. He called her up and told her that God loved her and he loved her too. “What happened when you called her up?” I asked.

“I don’t know if she could receive it very well or not,” he said. “But that’s okay. I could relate to her fine in church because I had changed.”