In the Old Testament the word for trusting faith was a Hebrew word that meant a rope. In other words trust was like a rope. It expressed what a rope did for you. It provided security; tied you to another person in safety, something you could depend on, at that time. If you tied something down with a rope, it was secure.
This is why this word was used to convey the idea of trust. I'd like to use this imagery to explain something about how trust is built and how trust is destroyed.
1. Making a Rope is like Building Trust
Building trust is very much like making a rope. A rope is made by intertwining many strands together. The more strands, the stronger the rope. The better quality strands, the stronger and more dependable the rope.
Trust between two people is built in the same way. Each person shares a part of their life with the other. The more they share, the stronger the tie of trust. The deeper their service, their intimacy, their sacrifice the more dependable the relationship is to withstand wear and tear through usage. A well made rope can be used over and over, a well-made relationship is able to go through many trials.
2. Destroying a Rope is like Breaking Trust
Destroying trust works very much like destroying a rope, you do it by cutting one strand at a time. This is how we destroy trust with each other, one lie at a time, one unkindness at a time, one harsh word at a time. Eventually all the ties that hold people together are severed. Not in one climatic moment but over a period of months or years, one little cut at a time.
So, here are a couple of lessons derived from our rope analogy:
A. Ropes are important.
You only have one trusting relationship with a person - if you cut it away another one will not grow back in its place automatically. Trust is the hardest thing to produce, the easiest thing to lose and almost impossible to replace once it's gone.
B. Everybody needs a rope.
Some people think they don't need any ropes, but that is because they've never been in trouble. When trouble comes (and it does come) you'll be happy that there are strong ropes of trust to hang on to while you go through life's challenges.
C. Of course the strongest of these ropes is the one that ties us to God.
We don't tie ourselves to God with our rope of honesty, purity and service because it would soon be cut and frayed by sin. To guarantee that we remain safe and secure, God ties us to Himself with Jesus Christ. The Lord is God's rope that ties us to Him. With Christ as our rope we know it will never break because He never lies and is always kind and true.
I encourage you to build strong bands with each other with cords of compassion, honesty, service, kindness, and love. If you've broken these, ask for forgiveness and try again.
I invite those who are not yet bound to God with the cord of Christ to tie themselves to Him now through repentance and baptism, or through repentance and restoration, whichever is appropriate for you.
God bless you with the peace that surpasses understanding as you stay tightly bound to Him through Jesus Christ our unbreakable bond.
- Describe a broken relationship you've experienced in your life and the things that led to the break-up.
- What is your personal approach to build trust with others? What are the risks you have to take to create a strong "rope" of trust?
- Describe the character of the person you trust the most in your life. Which element of their character is the most important?