Trust. One thing that is earned by responsible, persistent, actions as promised to another. And it’s something very easily damaged or lost. Kind of like a reputation. They often go hand-in-hand, and are nearly synonymous. However, reputation can mean trustworthy, but it can mean NOT trustworthy.
Trust is valuable, carrying a weight born out of commitment, duty, love, things that in their pure form cannot be purchased, like buying groceries or life insurance. Yet even these things demand a certain amount of trust, i.e. that the groceries are fresh, safe, and edible, or the insurance company will honor those premiums you’ve been paying when the time comes for a claim.
We trust our doctor, our taxi driver, bus driver, pilot, even the garbage man, to do what they’re paid to do, and what we expect them to do.
We trust them.
A very regrettable report from the good folks at Gallop polls say that only about 24% of Americans trust their government and that this country is going the right direction. Recent polling from Pew Research shows only 24% of Americans say they trust their government to do the right thing “always” or “most of the time.” The only thing Americans seem to agree on these days is dissatisfaction with their government and the state of affairs in their country.
Trust in government has not exceeded 30% since 2007. The last time it exceeded 50% was in October 2001, after the nation unified behind President George W. Bush’s effort to respond to the horrible terrorist attack on our nation on Sept. 11, 2001 by radical Islamists. Per Pew, data reporting trust in government started in 1958, when the National Election Study first began asking the question, but it’s been going down hill since that small leap in 2001.
People ask “if we can’t trust the government, WHO can we trust?” And it’s a very valid question.
The easy answer is “no one!” Police officers often get to the to the point where they don’t trust anyone else not in a uniform. In order to operate and exist in a world where a lot of people are out to hurt you, you can’t let yourself trust just anyone. Returning veterans have the same feelings: After you’ve fought beside some people for however long – a year or 10 – you learn really fast that you can trust them with your life and they can trust you with theirs. It becomes very difficult to be at ease among people you don’t know – or feel you can trust. It is a burden of heroes. I’ve talked to WWII veterans, Viet Nam vets, Korean War vets, Desert Storm vets, Enduring Freedom vets, and I don’t recall any of them saying ‘I just didn’t trust the guys in my unit.”
There are a few people who have my “full” trust. My wife, my brothers, my sister, my best friend, my nephews and nieces, my sons and grandkids. It’s easy to trust someone when you can look them in the eye and see and feel that connection that warrants your trust.
Sometimes we have to look at the evidence of actions of others to see the trust that is deserved, and once realizing the evidence is real, and true, and irrefutable, we must place our trust in them.
I had a cousin in the Viet Nam war, and on patrol one day they got pinned down by enemy fire. He was wounded twice, the shoulder and opposite ankle, making him unable to move. He figured it was his time. But (as I recall the story) an officer in his squad came running across that rice paddy, scooped him up like a sack of potatoes, and carried him to cover, himself getting wounded in the rescue. That officer went back and pulled some other men to safety, before being wounded again and having to stop his efforts.
Trustworthy? I would say so.
Another guy did something similar, giving up his life to save others. Although he could have denied that act of dying for others, he rather made the choice to do so.
His name was Jesus.
He did so out of love, commitment, and trust.
He trusted God to do what He said He said He would do when He sent Jesus to earth as a baby, born of a virgin, birthed in a manager in a stable (of all things!), and lived a sinless life, preparing for the Sacrifice He knew He would make when the time came.
He died on the cross, but His tomb is empty! Because He defeated Death and now lives, He has the authority to give us the same end – to not die a spiritual death that would separate us from God.
He said before He died “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one may come to the Father but through Me.”
Believe that He did this for you. Repent of sin in your life. Trust that He WILL DO what He promised: To give you life eternal with God, and the faith and fortitude you need to live on this earth up to the time of His return.