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Monday, November 18, 2013

Pastorgraphs: “Trust Me…”

E-Vangel Newsletter
November 18, 2013
[Pastorgraphs now online at]

Pastorgraphs: “Trust Me…”

Last week, we heard that the level of trust between Americans, our President, our Congress (i.e., our government) is at an all-time low. It reveals an ongoing cancer on our society where trust is quickly eroding in almost every institution. A comedian said he wanted to meet the 9% who say they trust Congress, because he doubts there are even that many.

But this is no laughing matter. The lack of trust in our government (who admittedly has given us more than enough reasons to doubt), and in our social institutions has far reaching consequences.

Trust is one of the most essential, precious and delicate elements of life. Once lost, trust is almost impossible to restore. Like a broken mirror, lost trust may be repaired, but it will never be the same.     

“There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the world – one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love. On the other hand, if developed and leveraged, that one thing has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life. Yet, it is the least understood, most neglected, and most underestimated possibility of our time. That one thing is trust.”  Stephen M. R. Covey “The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything)

Those are sobering words. And while we may not be able to do much about the “trust deficit” in our society at large, we must give attention to our personal trust and trustworthiness, less we lose something critical to the success and wellbeing of every dimension in our life.

To that end, I offer these methods for establishing and maintaining personal trust.

1.   Value Trust. Never take trust for granted. It takes a long time and great effort to establish trust, and it takes only a second to destroy it. Whether a political promise, a wedding vow, friendship or bond with a customer, once trust is lost it is nearly impossible to regain. Treat trust as one of your most valued possessions.

2.   Practice Trust. Be trustworthy. That includes trusting yourself and others. Of course, “trust but verify”. Trusting is risky, but absolutely necessary for society to function.

3.   Confront Reality. Hypocrisy is the quickest way to destroy trust. Trying to cover up truth with lies always makes things 1000 times worse.

4.   Be Honest and Sincere. Talk straight and speak from the heart. Half-truths are whole lies. Trust is linked to the virtue of honesty. And trust focuses upon your motives. Be genuine.

5.   Keep Commitments. Be “Old Reliable”. Make sure your word is your bond. Others are depending upon you. Don’t let them down.

6.   Play fair. Demonstrate respect for others. Practice the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Demonstrate your inner sense of justice in what you do.

7.   Practice what you preach. This means practicing accountability for your actions. Always seek to do the right thing in the right way at the right time and for the right reason. If you do, trust will not be a problem for you.

Covey continued: “Simply put, trust means confidence. The opposite of trust – distrust - is suspicion. When you trust people, you have confidence in them - in their integrity and in their abilities. When you distrust people, you are suspicious of them - of their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities, or their track record. It’s that simple. We have all had experiences that validated the difference between relationships that are built on trust and those that are not. These experiences clearly tell us the difference is not small; it is dramatic.”

Trust is essential for making life successful, relationships more stimulating, and organizations more profitable.

Heaven forbid you should break your bond of trust. But we are not perfect beings, and if we should fail in trust, here are some principles to guide us:

·       Admit your failing. Cover-ups and lying will never recover trust; but will make matters much, much worse.

·       Apologize. Confession is good for the soul.

·       Ask for forgiveness. You may not get it, but you must ask.

·       Accept the responsibility. Do not blame others. Remember that words are cheap.

·       Make restitution. As much as possible, mend what you broke.

·       Realize what you do not control. You cannot make people trust you again.

·       Realize what you do control. You alone control your trust- worthiness from today forward.

No matter what trials or temptations you may be  going through, this is excellent advice to keep our feet upon the straight and narrow path: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Devotedly yours, Bill Jenkins, Pastor

From the Quote Garden:
“Our distrust is very expensive.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Christ United Methodist Ministry Center
“Christ in the Heart of San Diego”
3295 Meade Avenue - San Diego, CA 92116 - (619) 284-9205

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