A broken-hearted friend sat in my office crying. Her words were not unfamiliar. She asked, "Why does this always happen to me?" It was the word always that got my attention because I notice patterns. I take note of behaviors I see repeated or I hear repeated. I believe much of our lives are lived in specific behavioral patterns. For example, think about your morning routine or the route you drive daily. We can sometimes change our patterns if they're pointed out to us. So, I asked her a question.
"Do you automatically trust everyone or do they have to earn it over time?" The tears stopped. She sat dumbfounded. She recognized a pattern. She repeatedly trusted people until they gave her a reason not to trust them. Unfortunately, that behavior pattern got her the same results over and over again because she trusted the same type of person. Once she recognized the broken heart pattern in her life, she could choose to change it. So, we worked on defining some new trust-building behavioral patterns and found creative ways to implement them into her life.
Wikipedia defines trust as "reliance on another person or entity." Trust is relational. It's developed over time.
Once again, I recognized a behavioral pattern as I listened to stories about our church's amazing efforts to fund mission work called Faith Promise. For most people, it started out small. They prayed, asked God what he wanted them to give, committed to a specific amount and when God provided they returned the blessing. I noticed a pattern emerge in the lives of seasoned Faith Promise participants. Their giving increased year after year. They credited their financial increase to a stronger relationship with God. Trust developed over time. When people were faithful with a small amount God trusted them with more. The lasting impact was a deeper more fulfilling relationship with God as they were trusted to return his blessing.
Imagine what may happen if we could be trusted with more. Envision Christ followers who are liberated from the bonds of financial constraint and are trusted with human hearts and eternal lives. Now, we're talking about building God's Kingdom! Let's build it together as his resources flow through believers who will love God, love others and change the world!
“‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ Luke 19:17 NIV
-Pastor Jen Wilson