Ironically, on April Fool’s Day I am writing about trust. However, I have had multiple friends hurt over the last couple of months because someone they care about, someone important to them, or someone they were supposed to trust did something to betray that trust. It could have been a friend, a manager, a spouse, or a family member. In every case, that betrayal cut deeply.
Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. – Matthew 5:37, ESV
This verse is taken from the Sermon on the Mount and it’s often quoted in sermons. Jesus was telling His disciples not to take elaborate oaths. That was a practice in His day and it is a practice in our day. Elaborate oaths exist because folks couldn’t simply be taken at their “Yes,” or “No.” That wasn’t good enough then. And in our world today that often doesn’t seem to be good enough now.
Our personal practice should be as what Jesus described. If we say we’re going to do something, then people ought to be able to count on the fact that we will do our best to do it. If we say we aren’t, then they should likewise be able to expect that we won’t. People who deal with us, whether they come into contact with us only briefly or they know us our entire lives, shouldn’t have to consider whether or not we’re lying. They should expect us to deal with them in honesty and integrity.
A friend shouldn’t have to worry about us gossiping behind his or her back. A family member shouldn’t wonder if we are going to break a promise to help take care of mom and dad as the frailties of old age begin to claim them. An employee shouldn’t have to plan for a boss selling out in order to get promoted. A spouse shouldn’t have to fear infidelity. Ponder for a moment the hurt in each of those situations. Now, imagine if those situations were filled with examples of trustworthiness and integrity instead. Imagine the comfort that would bring. Which outcome do you want to deliver to those around you?
It’s up to us. Do we live Jesus’ words or do we let them pass us by and ignore them? Are we known for our integrity or are we to be viewed with suspicion and doubt? Let us live lives marked by our trustworthiness. Let us bring comfort to the people around us. Let us help and not hurt. Let us establish and maintain our trustworthiness to all.