Of course, you cannot trust anyone nowadays, can you? Is that true? Alas, as a general statement, it is only too true. However, you should be able to trust a Christian. In fact, if someone professes to be a Christian and is not trustworthy then they are showing that they have no right to call themselves a Christian.
We live in a society where people show themselves up to be increasingly untrustworthy. People respond to situations on the basis of what will bring the best outcome for themselves. Accordingly, if they have to lie to achieve this or get involved in so deceitful manoeuvring then they see that there is nothing wrong with this. But the Christian should not be like that? A Christian should be trustworthy.
Why is it that a true Christian is of trustworthy character? It is because they fear God. A Christian has been brought to know God. A Christian knows God as Father. The world operates according to self—interest because, “there is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom. 3:18). But the Christian fears God. He has a deep respect for God. He does not want to offend God. And our God is a trustworthy God who hates lies and deceitful manoeuvrings. In what ways then does a Christian show themselves to be trustworthy? He/she should be:
Honest Christians are people of truth. We glory in truth. Our faith is founded on the Man who is truth. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Therefore we tell the truth; we are honest people. And the ninth commandment of our God is, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour” (Ex. 20:16). Moreover, there is condemnation for the liar. One of the categories of people, “consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulphur” (Rev. 21:8), is liars.
It has to be asserted as well that a Christian does not just tell the truth when it is convenient. The default position is to be accurate in representing the reality of situations always. Hard circumstances and potential personal harm do not force a true follower of Christ to divert from the truth. Let us hear this proverb Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out (Prov. 10:9). Some people tell you what you want to hear (and then tell someone else something different because they reckon that is what they want to hear). Are you like that? Surely, it is not proper to act like that as a follower of the Lord of truth.
Reliable In Psalm 15 we have the description of the person who dwells in God’s holy presence. One statement concerning this person is that the person is one:
“who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind” (Psalm 15:4b).
The true follower of Christ is reliable. They are not forced to give up truth because that truth now puts them in a difficult situation. In the world people happily break their word if they realise that it puts them at a disadvantage. The Christian is not like that. We keep our word always.
However, there may well be times when we are not able to keep a certain commitment. Circumstances may well develop which mean that we can no longer keep an appointment, for example. In such a circumstance we contact whoever may be affected by our failure to keep the appointment. Moreover we apologise for our failure as appropriate.
Consistent With some people you do not know where you are at with them. One day they will be saying this and the next day they will be saying that. One day they will be taking a certain position on an issue and the next day they will be taking an alternative position. In our lives we are to show forth something of the life of Christ who was utterly consistent. He had a purpose in coming to this world and He kept to it. He came to show forth the glory of God in all His ways. This should be our desire.
Paul’s injunction to Titus follows that line. In respect of the the younger men he was to, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:7-8). May we seek to be men and women of such character.
So are you a trustworthy person? Or are you just following the lies, unreliability and inconsistency of the world. As the world becomes increasingly godless so should our Christian lives shine the more brightly. So let us be trustworthy people, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16).
(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of March 2014).