Who can you trust now a days?
- Our government wasted 250 million according to the Gommery Commission.
- Large corporations have defrauded their shareholders. (Even Martha Stewart went to jail.)
- Individuals who once were automatically trusted - the coach, the kind neighbor, and even church workers are now viewed with suspicion in light of recent events.
It's no wonder that one emerging problem in our society is mistrust. We're finding it harder and harder to trust each other.
Behavioral scientist, Jack Gibb, conducted an in-depth study into ways people trust each other. In this study he named 7 primary factors that result in people losing trust in each other or never gaining trust to begin with. Briefly, here are his 7 factors that kill trust:
- Being Judgmental – People tend to distrust those who they feel are judging them.
- Acting Superior – We tend to avoid people who think they are better than we are, not trust them.
- Being Indifferent – Trust requires sharing and vulnerability, two things difficult to do with a person who doesn't seem to care.
- Exercising Control – Controlling people tend to create resentment in others, not trust.
- Expressing Certainty – It is difficult to establish the rapport necessary to create a trusting relationship with someone "…who knows it all."
- Being Manipulative – Manipulative tactics are death to trust because they usually hide selfish motives.
- Being Untruthful – Trust is based on our confidence that the other person is telling the truth, even when it can't be proven.
When it comes to trust, wouldn't it be great if:
- We could have a political leader that we could trust (Not just before elections but for his/her entire term)
- We could trust companies to sell us products that wouldn't kill us or the environment or make us pay more for them than they are really worth, or cheat their own employees?
Wouldn't it be great if we could trust the judicial system to be fair to everyone?
What a great society it would be if we could trust employers to treat us and our families like they would treat their own. I wish we could trust the media to:
- report what was true
- entertain with what was good
- educate with what will build.
What peace there would be if we could trust our family, our brethren and our friends to always tell us the truth and tell the truth about us. I wish that when "I" said, "Trust me on this one", people would.
A friend of mine said to me recently, "I like to help people but I don't trust anyone with my problems".
It seems that our general mistrust of people, institutions and each other is causing us to become cynical, lonely and unhappy. This mistrust breeds despair and ultimately a loss of hope and faith and the love generated by that faith. No wonder the present generation is so discouraged - it doesn't trust anyone and as a consequence has not been able to give itself to a cause that might spark its devotion, love and consequently - it's joy.
In answer to this "Black Hole" of mistrust, this "Bermuda Triangle" of cynicism - God offers us His Son, Jesus Christ:
- someone to believe in
- someone to trust
- someone to keep alive in each of us, the flame of hope.
In Jesus we find that one person who will never do anything to cause us to lose trust in Him.
Why We Can Trust Jesus
In his study, Jack Gibb found seven reasons why people lose trust in each other. Today I'd like to give you 3 reasons why you should trust Jesus:
1. Jesus is Human
5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
- Philipians 2:5-8
One of the strongest factors that creates mistrust is unfamiliarity. We don't understand the language so we suspect the ones that do. We're cautions with people of different skin color. We're uncomfortable with those whose practice and traditions are different than ours.
Paul tells us that Jesus was equal with God means He was divine. Imagine how encouraging it would be if Jesus had remained in heaven and simply sent prophets to tell us to believe, repent, be baptized and live faithfully until the end? Not many would follow and give up their lives for a leader who is so far away that He couldn't be seen, heard, touched.
But He didn't do that, He became human, like us
- lived like us
- suffered like us
- died like us
People in the military have a greater love and loyalty for those officers who share the risk with them than the "desk Generals" who are safe from harm's way back home. We can trust Jesus. Even though He comes from Heaven and abides there now, He was, for a time, "one of us", and because of that can relate to our fears and pain as well as our hopes.
2. Jesus Spoke the Truth
I am the way, the truth and the life.
- John 14:6
One of the most, if not the most critical qualities that makes or breaks a relationship is the truthfulness of the partners. People will put up with a lot of strange behavior, weird hobbies and moodiness in their spouses but they cannot take dishonesty. When someone lies, even a little bit, it officers every other part of the relationship.
We can have complete confidence in Jesus because He was completely honest. We know this to be true in several way:
A. Everything that was said about Him in the Old Testament came out to be true.
- Where He would be born.
- How He would live and die.
- What type of person He would be.
He fulfilled perfectly all the things that were predicted about Him self.
B. Everything that He said He would do, He did. One way to determine someone's honesty is to measure words and deeds. Not only was Jesus never caught in a lie but He lived exactly according to His own teachings. For example, He loved His enemies. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:2).
C. Everything that He said would happen has happened. For example:
- He said that one would betray Him and Judas did.
- He said that He would die and resurrect and He did.
- He said that they would be persecuted and they were.
He promised that He would always be with the Apostles and enable them to do miracles in His name and the N.T. records many of the miracles that the Apostles did in His name. You can trust a person when everything they say about Him is true; everything He does is in line with what He says and everything He tells you will happen -- happens! You can trust Jesus because He has told you the truth.
3. Jesus Has Your Interest at Heart
In his research on trust, Jack Gibb, noted that the desire to control, judge, and manipulate others were traits that either destroyed trust or never allowed it to develop in the first place.
When we review Jesus' life we can easily see that He did not live for Himself, but rather for others. He didn't come to control, manipulate or judge us, on the contrary:
- We were out of control, being manipulated by Satan and our sinful desires and subject to judgement condemnation and eternal damnation.
- He offered His perfect, sinless life on the cross to atone for our sins and the results being:
- We have regained control through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We are no longer manipulated because we have God's word and the Church to teach us, protect and strengthen us.
- We are no longer judged, no longer subject to condemnation because our guilt and judgement because have been washed away in the waters of baptism.
All this made possible by Jesus, who, as John says in 1 John 3:16 "laid down His life for us." - I can trust someone who died for me. I have nothing to lose - I already owe Him my life.
Summary / Invitation
I think if our hearts were revealed we would see that the person we trust the most … is us.
Perhaps there are good reasons for this.
- Parents did not instill trust.
- Hurt by too many disappointments.
- Cynicism at the world.
The results of those experiences for been that we have secretly made the decision to trust only us and no one else.
"I'm not going to let anyone hurt me any more"
Maybe that will protect you from certain hurts in this world but that kind of attitude will stunt your growth in Christ. You see the whole point of Christianity is that you give up trusting in idols, money, talent, worldly institutions, - even yourself, and put all of your trust in Jesus Christ.
Did you realize that the point of most of your experiences as you live the Christian life is to teach you to stop trusting whatever you trust and trust Jesus instead. Think about it:
- Noah had to learn this (built a boat in the desert - why? - trust).
- Abraham had to learn this (left his home - why? - trust).
- Moses had to learn this (led 1 million - why? - trust).
- David had to learn this (years on the run - why? - trust).
- Peter, Paul John had to learn this and yes, you and I also have to learn this lesson as well.
Do you trust Jesus? You can because; He understands you (He knows you, created you, died for you, waits for you). He is truthful and reliable. He cares for you more than you care for yourself (You've hurt yourself but He never has).
- What will it take for you to place your trust in Him today?
- Will it mean doing it His way instead of your own?
- Will it mean that you will get help for a problem?
- Will it mean obeying the gospel and being baptized?
- Will it mean starting over or hanging on?
Whatever it means for you, trust Jesus on this one, you will not be disappointed if you put your faith in Him. If you have a need to come to Christ for baptism, restoration or prayer show your trust in Him now.