Bamboozled: The Value of Trust
If you have a few decades under your belt (or in my case sagging over the belt), you’ve likely had the unpleasant experience of being conned by an unscrupulous person or business. Recently, it happened to some folks who are very dear to me. (We’ll call them Ben and Liz). Ben and Liz managed a large event where they sold refreshments. The company that provided the debit and credit card machines for the event withdrew, under a dubious pretense, several thousand dollars from the business account of Ben and Liz. Ben and Liz had to battle through the legal process with the credit card company, but eventually their money was returned. This experience opened their eyes to the unfortunate reality that there are people and businesses out there that make a lot of money by pushing the boundaries of ethics. Some even have no problem with outright stealing. In other words, you can’t trust everyone, it seems.
A lot of businesses people could take a clue from my mechanic. I have one of those rare mechanics who doesn’t try to upsell me. I have brought my truck to our mechanic a few times for problems that turned out to be nothing serious. He didn’t charge me a dime. That builds trust. When something major goes wrong with my truck you can be sure I take it to my favorite mechanic because I trust that he will not take advantage of me. Of course, trustworthiness is something you either have or you don’t.
The gradual destruction of trust in our society has consequences. Many people don’t know God because they have had their trust abused by life. As a result, they don’t know if individual Christians can be trusted. They don’t know if the church can be trusted. They don’t know if clergy can be trusted. They don’t know if the Bible can be trusted. And they don’t know if God can be trusted. But Psalm 118:8 says:
“It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in people.”
The reality is that sometimes horrible things happen to the most loyal and loving followers who put their trust in God. That’s why I very much appreciate the inclusion of verses 14 and 15 in Psalm 91:
“The Lord says, ‘I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.'”
That last line is very important: “I will be with them in trouble.” It is a dose of reality. It tells us to expect trouble. You may have heard the term “wait for it.” Well, God promises to be there with us in hardship and to rescue us if we wait for it . . . or rather, wait for him. I won’t jerk your chain. The truth is that sometimes we have to wait a long time for deliverance. Perhaps that is because building trust can take a long time after it has been abused.