A Powerful Weakness

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My Musings – When we are covered by 1) God’s grace, through 2) His Son, we are plugged in to an awesome power base, 3) the Holy Spirit.  But sometimes, (many times) we get in the way of that power by relying on our own strengths, which in reality are weaknesses.  Once we acknowledge that, God’s power is perfected in our weaknesses.

Now for the understatement: “My grace is sufficient” (enough to meet the needs of a situation, adequate).  Enough and adequate, hardly seem impressive.  But the point is, no matter how small or how big the “situation,” God’s power will always be enough.  God’s power is all we will ever need.

My Advice – Admit your own insufficiencies (weaknesses), let go and let God.

Be That Voice

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My Musings – Leadership is not measured by the number of people that report to you. It is measured by the number of people that follow you. People may report to a title on a business card, but they follow a leader. People have to follow the boss. They want to follow a leader. So what makes a person want to follow, as opposed to having to report?

It is a responsibility that hinges almost entirely on character.  Leadership is about integrity, honesty and accountability. All components of trust.  Leadership comes from telling us not what we want to hear, but rather what we need to hear.  To be a true leader, to engender deep trust and loyalty, starts with telling the truth.  (From “Leaders Eat Last,” by Simon Sinek).

My Advice – People will follow and be loyal to those they trust.  People will trust those who show integrity, honesty and accountability.   These are shown by being truthful, telling people what they need to hear, whether they want to hear it or not.  The “voice” of truth is the “voice” of trust.  People will “listen to” (follow) a “voice” like that.  Be that “voice.”

Stand Firm or Not At All

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My Musings – “Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” Probably said by Rosa Parks (Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, 1913 – 2005, African American civil rights activist).  Variations of the first part of this quote have been attributed to many different people, with the true origin of the quote unknown.  I think we might be safe in attributing it to Isaiah.

The Biblical definition of faith, is found in Hebrews 11:1:  “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (NIV 1984).” In other words, a firm belief in something for which there is no proof.   Another version states that it is the substance (what’s tangible) of hope (what’s intangible), the evidence (proof) of what cannot be seen (unprovable).  You may end up being called a nut.  But if you don’t stand firm, you’ll never become a might oak.  in fact, if you do not stand firm, you will not stand at all.

My Advice – Don’t just stand for something.  Stand for someone.  Stand for a firm belief in Jesus Christ.  If you do, though you cannot see it, you can be certain that you will never fall.  You’d be nuts not to.

 

 

Heart Over Mind

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My Musings – As often as not, real trust is more a matter of the heart than it is of the mind.  We often have to follow our hearts, when logic and our understanding on how things appear to be are telling us we should not trust.  If we do not trust with all of our heart, can it really be trust?

“If my heart could do my thinking, and my head begin to feel, I would look upon the world anew, and know what’s truly real.”— Van Morrison

My Advice – In God we can trust.  Your mind may have its doubts at times, but in your heart you know you should.

In God We Trust

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2 Samuel 7:28O Sovereign Lord, you are God!  Your words are trustworthy. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Imagine if you will a sovereign that was not trustworthy.

Sovereign – Possessing supreme or ultimate power.

Trustworthy – Able to be relied on to do or provide what is needed or right.

Such a sovereign would, without fail, be able to deliver on his promises, but could not be counted on not to fail.  By definition, this person could not be considered trustworthy.

Now consider someone that you might otherwise consider as trustworthy, but may not have the power to always deliver on their promises.  By definition, this person could not be considered trustworthy (reliable).

We can now begin to see why sovereign and trustworthy results in the proclamation “you are God!”  We can also see why the motto “In God We Trust,” was not chosen lightly, and why it should not lightly be cast aside.

Not Chosen Lightly – Our National Motto – ‘In God We Trust’ – was not chosen lightly. It reflects a basic recognition that there is a divine authority in the universe to which this nation owes homage – Ronald Reagan.

Not Lightly Cast Aside – The guiding principle of this Nation has been, is now, and ever shall be IN GOD WE TRUST – John F. Kennedy.

My Advice – Take “In God We Trust” as a guiding principle.

 

 

Just Trust Me?

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1 Corinthians 4:2Now 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.

Who Can We Trust?

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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.