Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Building a Trust Fund

How's your trust account? Is it growing? Are you saving for a raining day?

I know it sounds like I'm talking about saving money, building a trust fund to draw from later in life. Well in some way's, this is exactly what I'm talking about, but it's not about money or wealth as you might expect, it's about being trustworthy. Can you be trusted by others. When others speak of you do they say you are honest and truthful, can you be trusted?

That word TRUST is a big word. It affects our marriage or relationships in a big way doesn't it? Many marriages end because we just can't trust each other to be faithful to one another. Even when we are faithful to one another, if the perception is there, then the person simply is not trusted. There's doubt or concern. TRUST is all or nothing. Either the person is trusted or they are not. What about work related issues? Depending on if you are trustworthy or not can determine if you get that next promotion or not. Let's face it, if you can't be trusted with what you are responsible for now, then why would anyone give you more responsibility. People that are not trusted will not advance. If we can be trusted, if we are trustworthy, then we will prevail and have victory in our relationships, our careers, and even when charges are brought against us. Our reputation can speak for us, our trustworthiness can dismiss the charges against us because the accusations go against the fact that we are trustworthy. Let's look at Daniel and his track record of being trustworthy.

Daniel 6:4, At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.

I believe Daniels TRUST begins with his trust and faith in his God. Because he lives a life of obedience and he places his full faith and trust in his God, He's seen as a person with great conviction and commitment. I have to ask... Do you live, completely trusting in the Lord to provide, to guide, and to protect you in your life? Our lives reflect this trust. If we're living our lives trusting in God, then we will be seen as trustworthy as well by others. In other words, as we become Spirit filled, we become more like Christ, and the more we become like Christ the more trustworthy we are. So what can we do to become more trustworthy?

1. Place your full faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we live a life of trust, then we become a life of trust. We become an example of trust for others. People will see that we just do not deviate from our convictions. We live for Jesus. When given a temptation that goes against God's word, we don't stray away from the truth, we stay the course no matter what... Like Daniel. Sadly though, we all know the truth, so many times we don't stay the course do we? We stray, we struggle and we often look like hypocrites in our faith. Is that a picture of trustworthiness? No, not at all. So we must work on trusting the Lord, knowing Him more, and focusing on him more, so we live as the Holy Spirit would have us live. A reflection of a trustworthy God.

2. TRUST is earned. What I mean by this is that people don't just automatically trust you, or think you'll be trustworthy. Most people, have a "I'll believe it when I see it," attitude towards trust. After we've proven we can be trusted in the little things, then we begin to see a greater trust with the deeper or greater things in life. Why is it this way with people? Well my experience has been that too many people have been burned in the past. They've trusted people that only hurt them. Either in their relationships, or in their careers at work, or in their Church, or in their family. And each time we get burned, we build up a wall that prevents us from being so trusting of others. the more we get burned, the less we trust the next person that comes along. So very soon, TRUST has to be earned. I'll trust you only after you have proven to me you can be trusted.

The reason I mention this... is because in the beginning of this post I talked about building a trust fund, and that's exactly what we have to do. If you want to be a person that can be trusted, then you must work on your trust fund. Building a relationship of trust will cost you. I like to think of it this way. Every time you follow through on a commitment or promise to someone, you'll add change to your trust fund. Every time you do something special or unexpected for someone, then you'll add more change to your trust fund. The next time your tempted to lie or cheat, but don't... you add change to your trust fund. When faced with a difficult challenge to break the rules, but you don't, then others see you are trustworthy and you have added change to your account. People begin to see you as trustworthy and you begin to build a relationship of trust. The reason I say you must build up a fund, is because when we do something stupid, that violates our trust, then change comes out of your trust fund. Sure you may have done something that made someone feel they can't trust you anymore, but if you have lived a life of trustworthiness, then you'll be forgiven more often than not, because they know this was not typical of you. Normally you can be trusted, so even though the other person may have been hurt, the relationship is not destroyed. But what happens if you keep doing things that violate the trust in your relationship? More and more change is taken from your account until finally you run the risk of not being trustworthy anymore at all... your trust fund is now at a zero balance. The worst thing that can happen to a person is to have a zero balance trust fund then do something that violate trust, it's very difficult to build up trust with someone, when you miss managed your account in this way. Often you will not recover and thus... the relationship ends.... you lose your job and your career ends... well you can think of all the different scenarios. It's not good! One other thing to remember... The change comes out faster than it goes in. In other words... You can work hard to build trust in a relationship, and then wipe out most of your account with one stupid laps in judgement. Building the trust is a lot harder and more time consuming that spending it (losing it.)

So again I ask... How's your trust fund?

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, may my life be focused on you. May I put my full faith and trust in you. Change me Lord into your likeness and through this change in my life, I become more and more trustworthy as well. Thank you for the example you gave us in Daniel. A man who was noted as trustworthy as he lived his life for you. May other see me as trustworthy as well. It's in Jesus name I pray. Amen.

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