“Trustworthiness is Demonstrated!”
Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
One of the most important words that guide life is the word trustworthy. Trustworthy means worthy of trust or reliable. Trustworthiness is a character trait that is demonstrated not fabricated or assumed as a result of holding a certain respectable office.
We all desire to be people that can be trusted, that is, trustworthy. We look for trustworthy people to lead us whether it is in the church or in government and business. We certainly don’t want to follow or submit to someone who can’t be trusted.
“God said, “Let us make man in our image…” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26, 27 Human beings bear the image of God. Those attributes of God that He communicated to all men through Adam are called communicable attributes. Question 10 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “How did God create man?” The answer is, “God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.”
The attributes that God gave to us: knowledge, righteousness and holiness set us apart from all the other creatures that God made. The fall of Adam marred these attributes. Yet, they are innate to every single human being. We are able to think and reason. We have a moral code in our nature. We know what is right. We have a desire to be holy as God is holy. Yet we lack the ability to accomplish it.
Nevertheless, these attributes possessed by all mankind are the reasons why trustworthiness is so important to us. We value it in ourselves. We look for it in others. We give respect and honor to those who demonstrate trustworthiness.
We intuitively know that trustworthiness, trust, is the “glue” that holds relationships together. When trust is broken, it is extremely difficult to restore. Relationships are often shattered as a result of a breakdown of trust.
The issue that concerns me is that it seems that our culture has been convinced that trustworthiness is assumed by virtue of holding an important office. We’ve been led to think that if a person holds a certain office he is assumed to be trustworthy.
We find ourselves being disappointed by those whom we’ve selected because of their appearance or style. We learn a painful lesson that character does matter. Appearances are helpful and an aide if a person is trustworthy.
Since trustworthiness proceeds from the character of the God who created man, the perfect standard of trustworthiness is God Himself. The Bible declares that, “The sum of God’s word is Truth.” Psalm 119:160 The Psalmist wrote a clear explanation of genuine trustworthiness. “The works of God’s hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.” Psalm 111:7-8
We know what is trustworthy because God who is trustworthy said it. The Bible is absolutely trustworthy because God is Truth. Jesus, the only Son of God said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 We believe that the Bible is inerrant and infallible because “All Scripture is breathed out by God.” 2Timothy 3:16
The question that immediately comes to mind is, “How can we determine if a person is trustworthy?” First, I must state that no one is perfectly trustworthy except God. All men are sinners. Even those who are genuine Christians sin. The Apostle Paul wrote of his personal struggle with sin, Romans 7. He concluded his introspection with these words, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24, 25
But there must be a means by which we can determine a person’s character, his trustworthiness which will be less than perfect but which will demonstrate practical reliability. I suggest that there is a means to determine a man’s level of trustworthiness. The Psalm quoted above holds the key. Psalm 111:6a, “God has shown His people the power of His works.” The key is past behavior and words spoken. The means by which we can determine a man or woman’s trustworthiness is by what they do and what they say.
Don’t be misled. A man or woman of character who is trustworthy consistently acts and speaks truthfully.