I’ve been sort of dreading today. And the fact that I used the term “sort of” is an immediate indication of foul play. I should have been seriously dreading it, and the fact that I have been only sort of dreading it is an indication of how much I have fooled myself into thinking this issue isn’t as important as it is. Believe me, this is important, and for relationships, it’s hard to think of anything more important. To turn a blind eye on this is to destroy the very foundation all relationships are built on. I am speaking, of course, about the issue of trust.
I’ve known this was coming. We’ve already said our theme this week is Transparency and Trust, so it was inevitable that we would eventually get here. Transparency I can talk about; trust I’d rather not, because I have become an untrustworthy person. Somewhere along the way I have allowed myself the luxury of saying I will do something when I know there is a question as to whether I will or will not.
This has to do with big things like bills and work deadlines down to little things like everyday maintenance jobs around the house. The “Honey do” list stays the “Honey do” list, because Honey doesn’t do. Of course there is no such thing as a little promise not kept. Trust is all about keeping promises. Any promise, small or big, is an issue of your word.
“In the beginning was the word,” John says, and that’s why he started off his gospel with this. This is the word we can trust. It was with God from the beginning. Here we can be grateful that the Lord’s word is true. Did Jesus ever say He was going to do something and not do it? Did He ever make a promise He didn’t keep? Is His word reliable? Absolutely. Is mine? Need to do something about that.
So now I’ve used transparency to tell you about trust and admit that I am not doing very well when it comes to the latter. And I’ve taken great risks in doing this, but transparency requires it. And the good thing is: now I can get help. Transparency brings us together in our humanity and helps us with at least the beginnings of trust. If we are truly being transparent, we cannot lie. And when we tell the truth, we can get help. Chandler is helping me with this by pulling me out of my isolation; Marti is insisting on it; and you all are quietly demanding it because I owe you my word as a trustworthy person. I owe you the truth in writing. If I am expecting from you something I am not expecting from myself, I am a hypocrite of the highest order.
We need each other. Transparency demands it. And then we need to stop talking and start doing. As Marti likes to say: “It’s not the big things you say; it’s the little things you do” that build trust.
Jesus says to let your “Yes” be “Yes” and your “No” be “No,” and anything more than this gives opportunity for the devil. There’s nothing wrong with “No.” When it comes to doing, it’s much better to say “No” than to say “Yes” and not do it.
It all has to do with keeping promises. Trust lost can be regained, but it will take time and the power of God to overcome empty words and half-baked promises. Let’s remember: It’s not the big things we say; it’s the little things we do, and we’ll be on our way to becoming more trustworthy.