1 Corinthians 4:2 – Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (NIV 1984)
My Musings – Trust is the confident reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone. Being trustworthy means that we are worthy or deserving of that trust. Finally, it is deserveed because of past actions or demonstrations of character, ability, strength or truth. Actions and demonstrations are plural, and in the case of trust the actions and demonstrations are consistent enough to prove they can be counted on. They are reliable. In other words, you expect nothing different no matter the situation or the circumstance (through “thick and thin”).
- We cannot tell people to trust us. It is the result of feeling safe (Simon Sinek – Leaders Eat Last). Feeling safe because dependability has already been proven.
- We cannot buy trust. To paraphrase an old television advertisement, “we gain trust the old-fashioned way – we earn it” (E.F. Hutton).
- We cannot sell trust. “Your words and deeds must match if you expect [people] to trust in [you] (Kevin Kruse).” We cannot sell it with words, but people will buy it when it is backed up by deeds (e.g. keeping your word).
- We cannot question trust. “Trust, but verify,” (Russian proverb quoted by President Ronald Reagan). This quote is backwards. We trust because trustworthiness has already been demonstrated. There is no trust before it has been verified (found worthy). Then, if it is trustworthy, it needs no further verification.
- Trust cannot be taken – “People follow leaders by choice. Without trust, at best you get compliance,” (Jesse Lyn Stoner, author of Full Steam Ahead). People can choose to give trust, but it cannot be taken from them against their will.
- Trust can be lost – “Trust is the hardest thing to gain and the easiest to lose” (Alka Dimri Saklani, Beyond Secrets).
My Advice – You cannot only appear to be trustworthy. You must be trustworthy. It is what you would want from others and what others want from you.
Jeremiah 17:7-9 – “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (NIV 1984)
My Musings – God is trustworthy. Like a tree planted by a stream that provides a constant (never-failing) source of water. The tree has no fear of the things it normally should fear (heat and drought), and that experience should have taught it to fear. Why? Because the stream (our “Living Water”) has never failed it, even in such difficult times.
So if God is trustworthy, why are we so often incapable of trusting Him? Not because of His failings, but because of our hearts. This text states that “the heart [by nature] is deceitful above all things and beyond cure [absent God’s intervention, of course].” Because it is in our nature to break trusts (deceive), we find it difficult to understand someone who by His very nature is incapable of deceit or of being untrustworthy. Because of our nature we are very suspicious, wondering when He is going to pull that proverbial chair out from under us (because often enough, that is what we would do).
And we tend to think, because He has not always answered us in ways we think He should or when we think He should, that these are instances of when He has broken trust and failed us. It is easier for us to believe He failed us (was untrustworthy), than to believe that He has something better, or that the timing is not right, or that it was actually us who failed Him. In so doing we are measuring Him by our standards, when His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are higher than ours.
My Advice – “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known [trustworthy] God” ― Corrie ten Boom. For the true measure of trust is to continue trusting, even when circumstances appear to indicate that the trust has been violated. Don’t trust the circumstances. Trust the God who you know will never break trust.
Psalms 103:2-5 – Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. He forgives…heals…redeems…crowns…satisfies…renews…. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – But we do forget. In the midst of pain or sorrow or stress or misfortune, we lose focus of the benefits and refocus on the problem. We forget how many times in the past He has delivered us. If we remembered it would be so much easier for us to endure.
My Advice – Recall to mind, on a regular basis, how much God has done for you. Be specific. This will make it so much easier to recall them when you go through similar difficulties. Then it be less likely that you will say “how am I going to get through this” and more likely to say “I remember when God helped me through something just like this.”