By: Eliezer Gonzalez
The issue of who do you trust is one of the most important questions you will need to answer in life. So, who do you trust?
I faced that question early in my life.
When I was in Grade Six, my teacher’s name was Mr Meeker. He was an older gentleman, with a balding head and a crown of wispy white hair. He was also the Deputy-Principal of our school.
One day, he stood up in front of the class and asked us a question: Among our classmates, who did we think was the most trustworthy of all.
I recall being a little stunned by that question because it wasn’t something I had ever been asked. My classmates must have been similarly taken aback because there was a delay before some tentative discussion took place.
After a few minutes, Mr Meeker announced that he considered a boy called Timothy Saunders to be the most trustworthy of all. And he told us why.
Our teacher told us that Timothy was the strongest member of the class and he thought that if he told Timothy a secret, he would take the longest to break under torture.
Pretty weird for a teacher to say something like that, right?
However, he was right that Tim was a strong boy. He was good-looking, with long light-brown hair, and very athletic. I remember that he was a very good cricketer, and a very popular member of the class.
Many years later I learnt that Tim had sadly died in a motorbike accident.
I was devastated by not being trusted
Anyway, back to my story. I was absolutely devastated. The reason was that I had a very high opinion of myself, in retrospect, probably too high an opinion.
I thought that I was an exceptionally honest and trustworthy person. Although I was rather small and weedy, I didn’t think that physical strength had anything to do with whether someone could be trusted.
And I still don’t.
When it’s come to the question of who I have trusted in my life, I have to say that I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty good judge of character.
However, my self-assessment has often proven to be wrong. I’ve always been rather on the trusting side. I have been betrayed and defrauded more times than I can count.
I’ve always said opening yourself up to others and being trusting, within limits, is a much better way to live than to close yourself off from others and always live in suspicion. I still think that. But I’ve also suffered for it. Working out who do you trust has been more difficult than I ever imagined.
At the end of the day, I think that these days I trust people the most when they have a clear moral compass that points them toward principles that are outside of their own self-interest.
But experience has also taught me that I can still be let down by people with the best of intentions. I’ve also learnt that I need to be gracious and tolerant to those who let me down because I too have sometimes let others down.
Jesus has never, ever let me down
You see, I’m not 11 anymore. Although I still think I’m a trustworthy person, I don’t necessarily have such a high opinion of myself as I did back then.
As I have become a little humbler, I have learnt to rely more on the one who is completely and absolutely trustworthy. That’s Jesus. He’s never, ever let me down, and I know he never will.
We live in a society in which trying to work out what you can believe and what you can trust in is becoming a bigger and bigger issue every day. That’s why knowing Jesus is more and more important.
In the Bible, Jesus is called,
Faithful and True (Rev 19:11.)
He is always faithful, even if our dearest earthly relationships fail us:
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. (Psalm 27:10, NLT.)
…blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence (Jer. 17:7, NLT.)
I’ve worked out who I will trust. Who do you trust?