Two country fellows met on a back road one afternoon. One was going down the road with a possum-hunting dog and the other said to him, “How much will you take for the dog?” The owner quoted a price of $100 and declared the dog was an excellent hunter. The other fellow accepted the price and wrote out a check on the spot and handed it over. The owner shook his head and gave the check back. The check’s good,” the buyer said. I’m a trustee in the Methodist Church. So the owner took the check and handed over the dog. A little bit later he met his uncle and asked him. Uncle Josh, what does it mean to be a trustee in the Methodist Church? Uncle Josh replied, “I’m not sure, but I think it’s something like being a deacon in the Baptist Church.” “Oh, shucks,” the man said, “there goes my dog.”
Trust can be very difficult for some people, especially if we have been burned a few times. If we have bought a lemon of a car, we are not likely to go back to that dealer. If we loaned a tool to our neighbor and he never returned it, we are less likely to loan anything else to them. If our marriage ended because our spouse was unfaithful to us, we are less likely to trust new people in our lives.
Imagine yourself going down the road of life and you come to a vital crossroads.
Standing there at the crossroads are the following three figures: A pastor who never finishes his sermon until late Saturday night, a pastor who always has his sermon finished and polished by Thursday noon, and the Easter Bunny. “Which of these three would you ask for directions?” The answer is: The pastor who never finishes his sermon until late Saturday night. The other two are both figments of your imagination.
What does it take to develop trust and what does it take to keep trust? TRUST IS NOT BLIND. It is hard to trust those whom you don’t know. This is why in very large churches, the church is often divided into small groups. You trust people that you know better than people you do not know. Hezekiah trusted in the LORD! He was an unusual man, because he had a personal relationship with God, generations before the New Testament came. He was twenty-five years old when he became king. He reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, he removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. God saw his good work.
TRUST NEEDS BOUNDARIES. Unlimited trust is unrealistic. Unlimited trust is not healthy. I say to my teenager as they go out the door, “Be home by eleven.” “O, Dad, the party won’t be over before 1:00 a.m.” So? “Everyone else’s parents are letting them stay out late.” We don’t go by everyone else’s standards! Boundaries keep the trust in place as well as providing limits for all of us to live within. God gave the Ten Commandments, not because he didn’t trust us. But because he loved us.
TRUST REQUIRES CONSTANT LEARNING. We learn from our successes and our mistakes. Trust is gained from a study of God’s word. The more time I spend in reading and studying the Bible the easier it is to trust God.
TRUST IS TOUGH. Trust is hard to regain when broken. A spouse that has been unfaithful, will always carry that scare. Trust holds each of us to a high standard or morals and commitment. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? I pastored a man caught in bank fraud.
TRUST NEEDS BONDING. I watched the movie “Horse Whisperer.” The wife takes her daughter from Connecticut to Montana to find a man who can help their horse who has experienced a trauma. She falls in love with the Horse Whisperer and comes close to leaving her husband. I found myself turning in my seat, why because she was betraying her husband’s trust. If trust is to be real there must be bonding, touching, caring, etc. Trust is based in relationships. Trust is not impersonal. Those who want to bond and to have trust must have “hang time.”
TRUST HAS TO BE EARNED. Trust is not given, it is earned. I trust you because your life has shown me that I can.
The klipspringer is an African dwarf antelope that stands only two feet tall and weighs less than 30 pounds. Because of its size, it cannot defend itself against its predators. To survive, the sturdy mountain dweller must constantly be on alert.
It chooses a mate for life. They bond together and watch out for each other.
While one sleeps the other stands guard.
So it is, that in trust we bond with God. Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. The rest comes from trust.