Trust is a tricky thing. In some instances it comes to us with ease – as children we typically trust our parents above all others. As we become adolescents we often lose that trust, because we have replaced it with trusting our friends who are obviously much cooler and smarter than our parents. When adults, the door once again opens to trusting our parents because, well, because they have somehow become smart again! Now, let’s look at trust from the other side. Parents will or will not trust a child based upon what they see in them regarding maturity and integrity. A child really must earn their parent’s trust and that usually takes time and evidence. It is the same with God? We obviously should trust Him at all times and for all things. The real question here is can – should - God trust us? What must we do or be to warrant our Father in Heaven truly trusting in us?
…But do you trust me? Such a question pierces right down to the heart of any matter, for true trust is sacred. Any relationship - be it family, friends, business or otherwise - will thrive when trust is intact. With trust, growth, change and the conquering of obstacles are all not only possible but probable. With trust there is security. When trust is broken – and it can be broken in an instant with a single word or action – any relationship is headed for shipwreck upon the rocks of disappointment and despair. Rebuilding after such a shipwreck is a long and difficult process. So, how can we learn to trust the right things in a deep and secure fashion?
Promises, promises! Did you ever stop to think about how much of our lives revolve around promises? There are promises at every level of life – those made by a child to secure a privilege, those made when you agree to the conditions of your job, those made between a man and a woman at marriage, those made in political campaigns. Then there are the private promises we make to ourselves and to God. We judge character by the keeping of promises. A promise keeper is a trustworthy person. Then there are the promises God makes to us. It seems like there are a lot of them, but to many people it seems God has not kept them. So, is God a trustworthy promise keeper?
Promises, promises! We have all made them, heard them, kept them and maybe even broken them. Promises have always been an integral part of the fabric of any society, for they are truly the basis of trust and loyalty. When promises are kept, life is better and less lonely and when they are broken life gets to be broken as well. So, if promises are so important, then why are they so undervalued today?
(Part 2 in a 2-part series) About a month ago we began talking about leadership – Christian leadership - and how important it is for a Christian community – any community - to have significant leadership. Without leadership, people tend towards their own way and more than that, without leadership people tend towards a self-centered and incomplete perception of the world around them. Our last conversation revolved around the internal aspects of leadership – what makes a leader from the inside out – today we talk about what makes a leader from the outside in.
(Part 1 in a 2-part series) Leadership – In today’s world, it is one of the most important necessities of life and sadly it is one of the most absent aspects of life. Humanity needs leaders. We need leaders to show us a vision, to clear a path, to walk the path first and to thereby help us walk the path. Christians just like humanity need leaders as well. Sure we have Jesus as the Captain of our faith and sure we have the Apostles, the 12 pillars of Christianity, but we also need those whose examples we can see, touch and relate to here and now, at the end of the age. So, what makes a Christian Leader?
We all have had the experience of making or receiving a promise that was not kept. When you think about it, the experience is a sad one, for with a broken promise comes some level of a damaged trust towards the one who did not deliver. Over time this can lead to all kinds of deep and permanent damage to our relationships. What makes a promise? How do we better keep our promises? What about God? What had He promised us, and is He keeping His promises?
When we look around us these days, what do we see? The world is on fire with social unrest, the financial markets are riding tidal waves of volatility, our national debt is about 900 miles high, unemployment just doesn’t seem to go away and to top it off, the average person seems far more restless and unhappy than ever before! We have all heard the saying “hope for the best,” but the best of what? And what does it mean to hope? Stay with us as we look into hope – what it is, how it works, and how it can truly be a positive and life-changing experience in such a troubled world.
Hope...all of life revolves around it. When it is absent, your world is dark and you are depressed. When you can’t see it, there is no clear direction for you to go. Ah, but when you have hope – true tangible hope - you can be excited! You anticipate and prepare for the future. With real hope, problems are reduced to challenges and obstacles become stepping stones. Obviously there is a major difference in life with hope and life without it. So our focus will be on what true hope is, how we can make it ours and by doing so, and how we can change our outlook! Stay with us, this could be GOOD!