1. THEY WANT YOU TO APPROACH THEM WITH INTEGRITY. That is:
- They don’t want you to come with a hidden agenda.
- They do want you to respect them for who they are.
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified… For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus‘ sake.” (1 Corinthians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:5)
2. THEY WANT TO BE ABLE TO TRUST YOU AND FEEL SAFE WITH YOU. Therefore:
- Don’t violate their confidence.
- Never express shock at what they tell you.
- Demonstrate compassion and empathy at their anguish and pain.
“People who are well don‘t need a doctor! It‘s the sick people who do!… I want you to be merciful… For I have come to urge sinners, not the self-righteous, back to God.” (Matthew 9:12, 13b)
3. THEY WANT BIBLICAL COUNSEL FROM YOU. Therefore:
- Recognize the superior value of Biblical truth over personal opinion.
- Become a serious student of the Bible, making its mastery your goal.
“The Scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God, and fit him fully for all branches of his work.” (2 Timothy 3:17 – Phillips)
4. THEY WANT A SHARED PURPOSE FOR THE RELATIONSHIP. Therefore, mutually agree as to the direction the meetings should take:
- Friendship and mutual accountability?
- Help in relating Biblical values to the marketplace?
- Help in influencing others for Christ?
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)