Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
Normally, funerals are fairly somber and serious events. You know what it’s like. Sadness, sometimes tears, and hardly a time for funny stories. But there are exceptions.
My wife and I attended one such funeral for a dear friend whom we had known for many years. She was a good, Christian person, attended church, had raised four kids—but dementia had wrapped its ugly tentacles around her brilliant mind. We came to celebrate her life and listen to some of her life stories.
Margaret was different: always had a joke for you, and you never quite knew what she was going to say next. Her family loved her—no doubts about that. And she was a very giving and generous person.
Her son spoke at the funeral about the day he asked his mother to help him. He was interested in selling his car: “Mum, there’s a guy coming to your place this afternoon to look at the car. I can’t be there. Will you show him my car? And stick to the price I want, or there’s no sale.”
“Sure,” Margaret said. “No worries.”
But all did not go to plan. The buyer arrived at Margaret’s house, was impressed with the car and asked if he could go for a test drive.
“Yes, of course,” Margaret said. Without thinking, she loaned him the keys and said, “See you back here soon”.
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You can probably guess what happened. He took the car and never showed up again. Margaret’s son was not happy.
“You are too trusting, mum! Why didn’t you go with him for the test drive?”
“Oh, I never gave it a thought. He seemed a nice young man.”
We all had a good laugh at that funeral service—but we understood. Margaret’s goodness and level of trust in others’ motives was without blemish. She trusted everyone.
Think About the People You Trust
Who is the most trustworthy person you know? Your parents? Your husband or wife? It’s a very good question. Often you don’t need to put it into words—it’s a strong feeling: I believe I can trust her.
On the other hand I’ve spoken to people who say:
- There’s only one person I trust—and that is me.
- I don’t trust anybody else because someone will let me down or betray my confidence.
- For my own protection, I’m not going to take that kind of risk.
But I want to suggest to you that trust is the glue of life. At least that’s what Steven Covey says: “Trust is the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It is THE principle that holds everything together.”
Proverbs 20:6 in the Old Testament says, “Many people declare themselves loyal; but who can find someone who is really trustworthy?”
Think of one person you can trust—you know, they won’t tell you lies or do anything to intentionally hurt you. They have proven to be trustworthy and reliable.
One of the biggest hit songs in Motown history was The Jackson 5’s fourth consecutive number 1 hit in 1970, the ballad “I’ll Be There”. The lyrics say, in part,
Whenever you need me, I’ll be there
I’ll be there to protect you,
with an unselfish love I respect you
Just call my name and I’ll be there.
“I’ll Be There” was a big hit for several reasons, one of which is the sentiment of the words which communicate, You can trust me.
Most people claim to be loyal, but can anyone find a trustworthy person? – Proverbs 20:6 – The Voice
We don’t create trust or a big hit by singing or living this way:
Whenever you need me, maybe I’ll be there,
but maybe I won’t, I’m not sure.
I can’t commit right now, it’s not you, it’s me.
I can’t guarantee I’ll protect you
or your name or reputation.
I might talk about you behind your back.
You might not even be safe in my presence.
My interest in you is simply based on
what I can get out of you and
how you can help and serve me.
Trust is Built Over Time—And Can Be Rebuilt
Needless to say, that is not a recipe for building trust. Trust is built slowly over time, but it can be lost in a moment. This can happen between husband and wife, friends, family members, even co-workers. When trust is violated or broken, the result is painful and depending on the circumstances, often embarrassing. I think the worst is when children are let down by adults.
Trust is rebuilt slowly through our actions over time. God created us for relationships based on trust. In Genesis, the very first people we hear about, Adam and Eve, violated the trust that God placed in them. They didn’t do what they were asked to do, even though they had been given everything they needed.
Part of why some people have trouble trusting God is that key people in their lives have not been trustworthy; they haven’t kept their word, honoured their commitments, or proven reliable.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Among the most essential qualities of the human spirit are to trust oneself and build trust with others.”
Unfortunately in life, we’re the ones who lose when the tower of trust falls. We win when we trust God, when we prove ourselves trustworthy, and when we’re willing to forgive others who’ve let us down—and to seek to rebuild our relationship and our mutual trust.
We can trust again. While trusting makes us vulnerable, if we choose not to trust, we can miss out on so much joy God desires for us. We were created for relationships based on both trust and forgiveness. We may move slower in trusting others, but don’t let fear steal your joy and imprison you in anger and hurt. You can trust again—with God’s help.
Trust is the ‘glue of life’. Trust is the foundational principle that holds all relationships. As you work through trust issues, remember that even if everyone else fails you, your Saviour, Jesus Christ, will not. Trusting in him and his promises found in the Bible, you can learn to respond to his undeserved love and forgiveness by offering those same gifts in your relationships.
Prayer: “God, we thank you that you are our rock and our fortress and a God we can trust. Help those of us who have a relationship that has been damaged by trust that was broken. We need to get back on track. I want to be a trustworthy person once again.”
Some parts of this devotional have been sourced from “Trust is the Glue of Life”, April 20, 2015, Brewster Baptist Church, https://brewsterbaptistchurch.org/trust-is-the-glue-of-life/