Points to Ponder: Can You Be Trusted?

Points to Ponder
Can You Be Trusted?

I was driving on a major highway behind a tractor trailer that was hauling a "wide load". It was a building on a flatbed and it extended over both sides of the trailer. The edges were up to the white lines of the lanes, and brushed by the railings of the bridges with little space to spare.
As I watched cars fly by it on both sides, I considered the enormous weight of that load and the speed at which it was traveling. I thought about the unseen driver up front and the enormous responsibility with which he had been entrusted. Tens of thousands of dollars in equipment was under his care. Potentially, millions of dollars in liability could be incurred if he made a mistake, misjudged the traffic situation around him, or violated a law. The driver had to be trusted to drive this thing. I had never thought about it like that before. How could anything in society get done if people could never be trusted?
When politicians or business people are caught in a lie, or break a law, or are guilty of corruption, many people say "well, they all do it." Imagine if that was really true. If everybody cheats, lies, cuts corners, and deals dishonestly soon the whole culture would implode from its own lack of integrity. It is interesting too that we tend to look only at corporate and political leaders as the untrustworthy ones, the ones who "sell out" the rest of us for the money or the power.
Are you trustworthy? Do you ever work "under the table"? That's stealing. In some ways our taxes are higher because you do not pay yours. Do you violate the trust your employer has placed in you; misusing equipment, taking supplies home, using company time for personal business? That is stealing too. Do you cheat on tests, or take credit for other people's work? Should anyone believe you?
Can you be trusted to do what you say you are going to do? One of my favorite Proverbs is this: "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." (Proverbs 22:1 NIV)
I have met many people, especially among young adults and teens, who do not seem to realize the value of integrity and having a good name. To be trustworthy is a rare quality in this world. If anyone has violated your trust, you know what I mean. Some of us still ache over the pain caused by someone in whom we once believed. It is wise to consider whether you yourself have been that someone in the life of another. It is a serious matter in God's eyes too: "The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for his." (Proverbs 14:4 NIV)
We all make mistakes. We all have let other people down. However, if it is your regular practice to live your life without regard to the faith and trust others have placed in you, you are on a path of self-destruction. Some people think they are good at the game. They think they can cut corners, give their word with no intention of following through, and do whatever else it takes to come out ahead. But the old saying is true: "What goes around comes around." Be sure, as the scripture says, your sin will find you out.
If you are relying on the world's way and your own wisdom God will let you do it--for awhile. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (Proverbs 14:12 NIV)
If, however, you will strive to do "the harder right"; to live a life of character and integrity, the Lord will be with you to guide you. No matter how hard doing the right thing can become, God will be your refuge and your strength.
I look to Psalm 15 for assurance. I call it the Integrity Psalm. The New Living Translation puts it this way:
Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
Those who lead blameless lives
and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Those who refuse to slander others
or harm their neighbors
or speak evil of their friends.
Those who despise persistent sinners,
and honor the faithful followers of the LORD
and keep their promises even when it hurts.
Those who do not charge interest on the money they lend,
and who refuse to accept bribes to testify against the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.
I emphasize the end of verse 4 in particular. Almost anything in the world can be fixed if it is broken, except your word. I have found nothing to be more valuable than integrity. It is why we trust the Lord--His integrity. It is why the Bible is known to be God's word--its integrity. There is no better way for a believer to emulate Christ than through his or her integrity.
Do not be tempted to compromise the truth which is in you. Continue to stand firm and be faithful to it, so that nothing can hinder its shining through your character and your word. "...live a life worthy of the calling you have received." (Ephesians 4:1)

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