In God’s providence, I ate dinner with one of John Piper’s Seminary students back in the fall at a Conference. This student knew Piper well. Really well. So when asked to comment on Piper, I’ll never forget what he said.
“With Piper, what you see is what you get. He’s a polarizing figure. Some people love him, some people hate him. But he’s a man of integrity and transparency — what you see it what you really get.”
I was trying my hardest not to be “that guy.” You know, the off-putting fan boy who spends the rest of the night with inquiries regarding someone he’s never met. So I decided to only ask one follow-up question.
“What do you mean by what you see is what you get? Can you elaborate?
Okay, so I asked two questions.
I don’t remember what he said verbatim, but he spent the next few minutes honoring Piper’s integrity. That’s it. Not a word about his theological soundness. No sentiments or sentences about his charisma, leadership, or preaching ability. No remarks about his spiritual gifts or past experiences or critical-thinking skills. Nothing. For this student, he was most impacted by what Piper is like in private. Indeed, it was Piper’s personal piety that he was eager to mention.
I was extremely encouraged. At that moment — more than ever — I decided that’s the kind of reputation I want for myself. I want to be known as a “what you see is what you get” kind of guy.
May we all strive for biblical, Christlike character and display transparent, genuine integrity in all of our actions — both in public and private. Without hesitation, may our closest friends and family be quickly inclined to describe us as what you see is what you get kind of people.