Saturday, February 27, 2010

Trustworthiness According to the Bible

Detail of the Verduner altarpiece in Klosterne...

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One of the strange things about the area of trustworthiness is that I takes many things to build it, but it only takes a few things (sometimes only one) to destroy it.  think about building a tower of blocks.  If you keep taking blocks out from the base the tower is going to collapse.  It is the same with trustworthiness.  But what is trustworthy and how do I know when I have it or have found it. 

According to the Bible a trustworthy person...

hates bribes Exodus 18:21
is responsible Nehemiah 13:13
keeps a confidence (not gossiping) Proverbs 11:13
brings healing words Proverbs 13:17
brings refreshing words Proverbs 25:13
is honest with a friend even if means the subject is unpleasant Proverbs 27:6
is above reproach, not negligent Daniel 6:4
has friends willing to stand up for them 1 Samuel 22:14
believes in God and His word 2 Chronicles 20:20
has faith in God Psalms 27:13
waits for God Psalms 27:14
is a good steward (responsible with other's money) Matthew 25:22-23
is given more responsibility based on faithfulness Luke 19:16-17
is a servant of God and managers of God's mystery (gospel message) 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
See also Colossians 1:26-27
is respectful, not slanderous, self-controlled 1 Timothy 3:11
is an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity 1 Timothy 4:12
takes care of their family 1 Timothy 5:16
holds on with hope and without wavering Hebrews 10:23
is concerned about others, promotes love, promotes good works, attends worship with other believers, encourages others Hebrews 10:24-25
walks in truth (integrity) and supports others (even strangers) 3 John 1:3-8
is faithful during affliction Revelation 2:10

Here is an interesting lesson on faithfulness.  Jonah the faithful prophet of God became unfaithful, yet God used him in spite of Jonah's unfaithfulness.  Albeit Jonah needed a little convincing in the belly of a fish for three days and three nights.  He still did not get it at the end so one wonders whether he ever got it turned around.  Probably otherwise we would not have the book.  Even more interesting is that the Ninevites whom enriched themselves with the plunder of wars became trustworthy in a moment through repentance at God's Word (Jonah 3:5-9).  Jesus even used them of an example of trustworthiness (Luke 11:32).    So the bloodthirsty Ninevites gain trustworthiness through the wonderful grace of God.  And that same grace is available to us through Christ.  Praise God for His wonderful mercy and grace.  Praise God for new beginnings. 

The story of Jonah along with the verses above have shown me that trustworthiness is first based on a relationship with God followed by a commitment to grow in Him.  A trustworthy Christian is one that is growing in his or her relationship with Christ.  One problem with thinking of trustworthiness as a category or a goal to achieve is that it lends itself to the belief that we can arrive at trustworthiness and then our work is done.  Not so.  These passages I have shared with you make it clear to me that trustworthiness is a life long pursuit and requires persistence to grow in this way. 

I encourage you to make faithfulness a goal of your daily walk with Christ.  Do not let neglect become your weakness leading to unfaithfulness ending in broken trust.  God Bless you.