2003-06-26 - Yes and No
Matt 5:37 Simply let your `Yes' be `Yes,' and your `No,' `No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (NIV)
One of the more impressive characteristics of an individual is their level of faithfulness and trustworthiness. Friendships and any positive human relationships are based upon trust. Trust is not usually something that is immediately granted. It can get a head start based on the recommendation of a mutual friend or business associate. But even that will only go so far. After a point into anything that has deep, lasting value trust is earned.
A friend of mine was asked how he would like to be remembered. His reply was very interesting. "I want to be remembered as a man who kept his word," he said without a moment of hesitation. To have someone's trust or to trust another person is very much an intangible item. But it is valuable beyond the worth of precious gems and metals. My friend said, "Your word is the one thing you can take with you to the other side of the grave. Your money stays here." It is facet of truth worth pondering.
Trust is a very durable thing once it is established. But it can be shattered in a moment all the same. The respect that is generated by a trustworthy reputation opens opportunities both to lead and to serve. They can be interchangeable. Jesus told us that the one who would be the greatest would serve the other disciples. Judas betrayed the trust of the group and his name is a byword to this day. Once trust is broken, rebuilding that trust will take a great deal of time and effort in many cases. Sometimes the relationship will never be the same.
I think we all know or know of people who are so well respected that their word is as good as any oath or pledge. How does someone gain a reputation like that? Their yes means that whatever they have agreed to do will be done regardless of the cost to themselves personally. The cost may be in time, money or effort, but it will be accomplished as promised. If they say no, they have prior commitments that they intend to keep. In order to keep those previous promises, schedules or commitments they decline.
Trust is a precious commodity. It can not be bought with gold or silver, but it must be paid for none the less. It is purchased over time. It is costly at times, but is almost always worth more than the price paid. Jesus kept His word the the Father, and because of that the way to salvation is open again.
Grace & Peace,