by David Wraight
I have a close friend who is an international negotiator. In this role he often ends up in meetings with national leaders brokering agreements and contracts that involve major infrastructure development that have the potential to significantly impact national economies and millions of people. In such situations, with much at stake, it is very hard to navigate through the relational and political complexities to arrive at a mutually acceptable outcome.
Last year my friend was in a meeting with the political and religious leaders of an Islamic African and Middle Eastern nation. Things were not going well as each of the participants tried to work themselves into a better negotiating position. As my friend observed the games being played and lies been told, he became increasingly frustrated. Eventually, seeing no progress being made, he interrupted the meeting, pointed at one of the Presidents, and said “You are lying!” A stunned silence ensued.
My friend quietly explained that unless everyone started to operate in the “truth” he would no longer participate in the meeting. He would only continue if he could get a commitment from each of the participants that they would stop playing games and tell the truth. The silence continued. My friend then did an extraordinary thing. He stated that he was a follower of Jesus, and at difficult moments like these he had found that the best way to get through was to pray to Jesus and ask for His help. He asked if anyone had any objection to him praying to Jesus. All appeared to be OK with this. So my friend simply stood up with all these national leaders and asked Jesus to help them be honest with each other, to conduct the meeting with integrity and truth, and to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
Inviting Jesus – the author of truth – to this meeting was transformational. So many people in this world long for truth, hunger of honesty, and search for integrity. And there is really only one place to find all of these things – in relationship with Jesus – the Way, the Truth and the Life.
The meeting continued with a completely different atmosphere. Honesty and truth prevailed, trust was developed, and resolution was reached. My friend is now in great demand as a negotiator. He gets many calls from business and government leaders. He is getting to be known as someone who can be trusted, as someone who operates in the truth, as someone who follows Jesus.
Wouldn’t we all like to be known as someone who can be trusted, as someone who operates in the truth, as someone who follows Jesus?