Who do you trust?
When I think of trust, I can’t separate it from “trustworthiness.”
Trustworthiness is a virtue attributed to people.
I can trust in my car when I get in it to take me from point A to point B.
However, there is no guarantee that it isn’t going to break down, or God forbid, I get in an accident and don’t make it to “B” after all. But because my car has been reliable, I trust daily that when I get into it, it will take me where I need to go.
I also trust that when I put my feet on the floor in the morning, I’m going to be able to stand. I trust that when I open my mouth, my vocal chords will work, and sound is going to come out. I trust also that my Cuisinart Coffee Maker, programmed the night before, is going to be brewing my coffee to perfection, and be waiting for me by the time I wake up. The aromatic fragrance hits my nose, even though I’m in the bedroom and it is in the kitchen. I trust and rely on these things each and every morning I wake up. I don’t think about them and their reliability. I just act on them, because they have been reliable.
But putting my trust in people comes at a much higher risk. My coffee pot may stop working, and several times in my life I have had to replace it. It causes me to make an emergency run to Starbucks to kick start my morning. But it does not hurt my feelings; it does not leave emotional scars.
Unlike a personal relationship with family or friends. I get up early, I clear my schedule, I anticipate sharing my cup of coffee with her, and not drinking it by myself. I look forward to the conversation we will have, the laughs we will share, and the fun we will encounter together that day. But then, my cell phone makes that sound that all of our cell phones make: eeehhhhh! Or blooooodooo-dee-doo! I receive a text message, and she cancels on me. Is it a valid reason? Do I get to judge on the validity of her reason? Is this the first time, or does this happen again and again? Is it a trust issue in this relationship? Regardless, I am disappointed. And a piece of me, whether it stems from insecurity or some other issue, begins to lose trust.
We have all been there, and the shoe can certainly be on the other foot. Or more accurately, the shoe can be on my foot. How trustworthy am I?
Within our current culture lies a deep-rooted value: I will do something if it fits into my schedule, if I have had enough rest, and if something “better” doesn’t come along. I mean, I may be speaking boldly here, but truthfully, we can all be “sick” every day in this crazy, busy driven life that we lead. Am I willing to put aside my comfort level to give my best, to give my all, to others? Am I not only expecting a relationship of trust, but am I giving and living a relationship of trust?
We say, “Treat others the same way you would like to be treated.” Am I willing to live the Golden Rule, found in Matthew 7:12, and develop a life of trust?
If any of us have any hope of being that trustworthy friend to another, or being that mom, or being that wife, or being that sister, or being that faithful daughter, we must lean on the One who embodies and defines trust.
Proverbs 3:5-6 is a verse familiar to most of us. For me, recently, this verse has come alive. God was speaking to me clearly when He brought this powerfully into my life a couple of months ago.
“Trust in the Lord will all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
Our heart in the Scriptures refers to the deepest part of our innermost self. He was asking me, and He is asking you, to trust in Him completely, with every single facet of me that I am. In my spirit, and in my devotion to Him, in my job and in my ministry, and with my family, and every personal relationship. Not because I can clearly see what lies ahead; but because I trust in the God who does see clearly what is ahead for me. My understanding—your understanding—only goes as far as we can figure something out.
God is clearly calling us here to let go of what we can’t clearly figure out, and to put our whole selves—all of our trust—in Him, to work all the details out.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him…”
Start out each and every day, giving Him this day, and giving Him your plans for this day, and allowing Him to make your plans His plans.
Tell Him out loud, or whisper in a prayer, that you trust Him to take care of any situation you find yourself in.
“And He will direct your paths.”
You may not see where He is leading you. But you can trust that the path He is leading you down is the right path for you.
Joseph certainly had his character and trustworthiness tested. In Genesis 39, a beautiful, powerful woman came after him to seduce him, and Joseph had a character-defining choice to make.
“My master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Genesis 39:8-9
Even when Potiphar was away, even when he knew no one else was looking and he might have got away with it, Joseph wasn’t going to fool around with his wife. Joseph knew that by being trustworthy to others, He was being trustworthy to his God. He was that reliable. He fled that unfaithful woman. Joseph let trustworthiness rule his life!
So, let’s go back to our date for coffee…when you agree to go and meet someone, even if it is “just for coffee”, fulfill your commitment. Do your best to demonstrate a life full of trustworthiness.
“Whoever is faithful in little matters, will also be faithful in bigger matters” Luke 16:10
And then, when it’s not just a coffee date, and your friend is in a crisis and really needs you, she will know to call you, because you have proven yourself trustworthy, again and again.
Trust is a virtue that our culture may have lost hold of in this “take care of me first” world we live in. Let’s ask God to help us demonstrate trust to those we have a relationship with, by practicing trustworthiness each day. Remember Joseph, who made his goal in life, not to please himself, but to please his God. Even if it cost him a lot in the short run.
I hope you enjoy a lovely coffee date this week, and I continue to welcome your comments from last week, about what or who you are thankful for…
Speak Truth Love