The story of the Landowner: Trustworthiness learned by examining the Pharisees' failure
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?
One of the many ways to address this question is to find examples of those who have already proven to be untrustworthy before God. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on where you sit), the Pharisees position of authority as well as their treatment of Jesus shouted out a dramatic lack of integrity. Jesus not only observed this lack, he tried to help them see and correct it as well. What is the best way to try and enlighten someone about trustworthiness who doesn’t like you? You tell them a story. You build into your story characters who obviously lack what’s needed to be trustworthy and you let those characters make the point. Jesus told them such a story. While the Pharisees did get the point of the story, they sadly wanted nothing to do with applying it to their own lives. As a result, what we are left with are several principles we can apply to our own lives as we attempt to be trustworthy servants of God.
David Horsager, author of several articles and books on trust, has suggested that the foundations of trust are built upon what he calls, “The Eight pillars of Trust.” We used his premise and pillars to look at how we can, in a very practical way, become more trustworthy before God.
The first pillar is Clarity. Clarity enables trust while ambiguity disables it. When we are clear on our role in the matter, when we are clear on the objective of our mission and when we are clear on the necessary “how to” elements of our task, our trustworthiness becomes an evident factor in success. Contrarily when we are ambiguous on any of these things, the foundation of trust is likely to crumble. Clarity before God and therefore our trustworthiness before Him can be tricky to determine. We can easily fall into being focused and clear on a skewed perspective of what our role before Him is supposed be and end up walking an untrustworthy path of ambiguity.
Please check out our October 10, 2016 podcast, “How do you know God can Trust You?” and join with us in our conversation as we seek to better understand Clarity before God as well as the other seven pillars of trust. We all need to be trustworthy!
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