Wednesday 27 Nov
Dave shares what it takes to build authentic relationships.
"Relationships are messy. Cross-cultural relationships are definitely messy. However, time and time again Caz and I have witnessed that it is within the context of relationships… messy, long-term, authentic relationships… that people are most open to conversations about Jesus.
Reflecting on our ministry in South East Asia, one of the key principles of building authentic relationships has been to enter our friends’ worlds. This takes time, commitment and humility. When we first enter the world of another person or community, it can seem as if we are banging up against a ‘wall of noise’. We can’t seem to understand them, and they can’t understand us – there is just noise between us. This noise is amplified if we come from radically different cultures and languages. Breaking through the wall is confronting. It is humbling to struggle to understand and it can make us feel foolish. However, as others watch us persevere and struggle they see that we really care, and this opens the doorway to deepening relationships.
God created us to live with honour and respect, and to treat others this way. One way we can do this is by participating in the world of another to the greatest extent we can without violating the values of God’s Kingdom. As we participate in the lives of others – sharing hospitality, seeking to understand them, seeking to bless them - we demonstrate honour and respect which comes from an attitude of humility."
This is a modified excerpt of cross-cultural worker Dave's article in Resonate magazine. You can read the full article in edition 34 here (view online) or here (printable PDF).
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