Tag Archive: trust

We live in a world that pursues material over spiritual gain. This isn’t a new concept. I’m certain, that as long as there have been humans roaming the earth, that the pursuit of material needs has trumped spiritual pursuits. All throughout the Bible, we read that it’s better to pursue spiritual needs, then the material needs will be addressed. Someone can work their entire life to gain riches. Riches they can’t take with them when they die. The security of wealth is fleeting. It can be taken away in an instant, and the rich person is left in soulless poverty.

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Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

John 19:11 (NIV)

It’s easy when bad things are happening to focus on those bad things. Isn’t it? The worse the issues the bigger they seem. Sometimes, the negative things that happen in our lives are just so big and influential that we have no choice but to pay attention to them. However, life-altering events don’t have to be life-shattering events when you remember where they came from.

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We’ve been discussing the power of our words. The power of words to bring life and death into a person’s life. I wasn’t expecting to write on this topic nor did it occur to me that it would be an issue that I face and have been facing, for a while. All of us have had promises made to us that have been broken for one reason or another. Some were made by parental figures, those we love, our friends and people we just met. One would think that the promises of a stranger, would mean little, in contrast to the impact that these empty words have upon our psyche and subsequent behavior. In the series, Precious Hope, we discussed why hope and faith appear to fail. The failure of words, the reliance upon humans and the things that we promise to one another, can cause our faith to “fail.”

How many times do you have to be promised that someone will do or not do something before you lose faith in that person? How many times do you hear other people make promises that never see the light of day before you start to lose faith in people? Cynicism and a jaded attitude can flourish when watered so often through the lies that people tell. The “good” intentions. The platitudes of promises never meant to be kept.

“Guard your heart, you’re too sensitive, don’t take it personally” may sound familiar to you like words of encouragement in the face of a broken promise. Perhaps, you’re like me, and you take most of what people promise and consider it, like smoke rising, forming and dissipating with the quickened wind? I’d rather have a discerning attitude filled with grace than the aforementioned viewpoint.

However you treat the broken promises in your life; I have these thoughts on the issues. Don’t be a promise maker. When I first met my two boys, I told them, “I won’t make very many promises to you. I know that there are too many things that happen that I can’t control.” Instead, be a promise keeper. Make the promise, to yourself. If you’re going to do something for a person then do it. Now, I know what you might be thinking. How I can help someone out by picking them up at the airport and not tell them? That’s really not what I’m addressing here. Although, I will quickly amend the previous statement and say that those promises, not kept, hurt as well. Therefore, if you find yourself unable to keep promises then don’t make them. If you promise to pick someone up from the airport and you forget and just leave them hanging then you shouldn’t be making promises. Perhaps, though, you don’t know how to follow through? Most people have their own personal devices to receive calls and texts. Use them to communicate any difficulties in fulfilling your promise (traffic, forced to work late, whatever).  If you cannot fulfill your promise then do the best you can to make sure it can be fulfilled. Picking someone up and can’t make it? Get them another ride through Uber, a taxi or another reliable source (don’t call your serial killer friend and have him pick them up).  If you make a promise to pick someone up, meet someone at a specific time or have someone somewhere, waiting on you then use your smartphone (calendar, reminders, etc). Tie a string around your finger. Put notes all-around your house. Do everything that you can, if you find yourself to be forgetful, to remind yourself that you made a promise. When I think more about it, a lot of promises keep someone hanging somehow. An anniversary, a call that’s never made, dry cleaning not picked up, the list goes on and on. If you’re going to make the promise then make the effort to make sure that you don’t forget the promise. When you find yourself a promise-breaker then stop making promises.

As the one who’s the recipient of broken promises, know this, it’s not you. I know it’s very hard. I know that it’s even harder to not harden your heart toward people when they make promises to you and sometimes, it is you. If your friend Karen makes promises to you and breaks them most of the time then perhaps you need to stop relying upon Karen’s promises and either call her out or thank her and move on. Don’t be passive-aggressive or take Karen’s problem and cast it out onto all people. Whatever you do, don’t become cynical and jaded. Don’t start thinking that everything that people say is a lie. Even if most of the time it might appear to be so.

This was brought to my attention because I am a Christian and I realized that I believe in a God that I cannot see and that most of my faith comes from the Bible. It comes from the Word of God. As a Christian, we know that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17 NKJV)

These are still words. I’ve found myself, to my surprise, to be more of a John 10:38 person who believes through the works that prove the words that have been spoken. However, that’s not faith. Not really. However, I have to remember that God is not a human being. God doesn’t lie. He has never failed me. I look to Bible, and I am reassured by the Word of God;  Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, and Hebrews 6:18. I remember that Jesus didn’t trust people because he knew our hearts. (John 2:24)

I didn’t realize until this week how much of a struggle it is for me, sometimes, especially in hard times with people, to rely upon God’s Word and walk in Faith believing that which is unseen as seen.

I want to encourage you today, as I try and receive encouragement in my faith, to not harden your hearts to people. Don’t label them as liars and hypocrites. All of us make mistakes. All of us have broken promises. We’re all human. Let’s try and do the best that we can to speak life to people and, though it be a cliché; if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all.

To those of you are Believers in God. Trust in Him. Remember, He won’t lie to you. His ways are not our ways and his timing is perfect. Remember what He has done in your life so far. Remember the impossible that has been made possible. Count your blessings and above all. Bring your doubt, your fears and concerns to Him who is faithful, because He loves everyone.