Hawkins charges seminary students to be persons with VIP
ONTARIO, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2017)—O.S. Hawkins, president of GuideStone Financial Resources, told students at Gateway Seminary not to try to be a VIP (very important person) but instead a person with VIP—vision, integrity and purpose.
Hawkins was speaking Feb. 16 during a chapel service on the Seminary’s Los Angeles-Ontario campus.
“No acronym has maneuvered its way into our lives more than VIP,” he said. “We learned it early when we took our first steps and heard the applause. It stays with us throughout our lives. It’s all part of a syndrome around us to be a very important person. But the world has a short memory for those people who think they’re important, and a very long memory for those who have influence.”
He pointed out that each person is who he is and is where he is in life because of persons who influenced them.
“The people who influence others are people of vision,” he said. “They know where they’re going and who they are. They are people of purpose. They know why they’re here.”
Citing 2 Cor. 10:13, Hawkins said that God has given each person an area in which they can be influential. He compared the idea to a runner in a track event: each has his or her own lane and must stay in that lane to compete.
“Your area of influence is assigned by God, and a lane is assigned to you and no one else.”
He said becoming a person of influence is exactly like the birth of a baby. Just like the moment a child is conceived, so is the seed of vision. The gestation period is like that period of prayer that bathes the vision. Birth is like the time you let others in on your vision. The next stages are growth, followed by maturity.
“When a family adopts a child, they love the child just like it’s their own flesh and blood. It’s the same with vision. Other people will adopt it for their very own.”
In our personal world, maybe one or two or three people who know us like we really are, Hawkins said. You might interact with hundreds of people in a professional setting. With a public persona, a person may not know you personally or professionally but has formed an opinion about you.
“Vision, integrity and purpose show in those other settings and are revealed in the Kingdom of God,” he said. “Be a person of vision, integrity and purpose. You can be a person of vision, but if you’re not a person of integrity, you won’t have influence. People of purpose know why they’re here. It takes all three to be a VIP.”