• Johan

Proud men are ........trustworthy

A long time ago, when parents still told their children stories and TV was something we have only heard of, but not yet seen (yes there were days like that) we were told this story.

"There was once a small town, somewhere in nowhere. It was a very small town and not many people from outside ever visited the town. They were all dependent on each other to get all the work done and they worked together well. One day a young boy was tasked to look after the town's sheep just outside the town, in the valley. It was a nice job as not much happened in and around the town and the sheep actually looked after themselves. One day, the boy was extremely bored and decided that things are too quiet in and around the town. He stood up and shouted as loud as he could :"WOLF, WOLF!". The people in town heard him and ran to the valley to assist him against the wolfs that were apparently attacking their flock. The boy, sitting beneath the tree, watched them running towards him and laughed and laughed. They grinned at the joke and went back to town. A few days later, he decided to repeat this little joke. Again all the people ran out of town when he shouted "wolf", and made an effort to get to him. Some had funny ways of running and some struggled so much to get their breaths, they nearly fainted in the process. Just to reach the young boy in the valley and find him crying with laughter. This time they were angry. They scowled at him and walked back to town. Then a few days later, the boy was lying underneath the tree when the sheep started to mill around. He sat up and looked towards the forest, but saw nothing. Then suddenly a number of wolves came running out of the forest towards the sheep. He got up and shouted as loud as he could: "WOLF, WOLF!". The people in town heard him and suspecting another joke, went about their normal duties. The wolves killed most of the sheep and disappeared back into the forest. The boy ran into town and started blaming the town folk for not coming into the valley to help him. But, they said, "we thought you were joking with us again", so we ignored you. Since they now had lost most of their sheep, they were angry with him and never again trusted him to do anything for the town.

The moral of the story is : If you disappoint people enough by not being truthful, they will eventually expect you not to be truthful at all times.

We all have the tendency to be less truthful on occasion and I am sure we often think it is justified by the situation we are in, to do so. However, once you have done this a few times, it will damage other people's trust in you, and will eventually result in poor relationships.

How many times have you cried "wolf! "?

How many times have you broken the trust of those that love and trusted you?

Parents, wife, children?

Not you, I hear?

How would you describe the following actions?

  • a son asks his dad to do for something for or with him, and the dad promises, but forgets because he is busy.

  • a boss asks a man to do something for him, but because the man postpones doing it and later on forgets.

  • a wife asks her husband to take the garbage out and he promises, but gets busy watching football and forgets.

  • a man makes personal phone calls from the business phone, even though he is not allowed to, because he deems it really necessary.

  • he takes work stationery home and then forgets it there.

  • he clocks in at work, but takes his time to start working, because the boss is not there today.

  • he fills in his tax returns, but leaves out a couple of things to limit the amount to be paid in because the government is already taking so much.

  • he drives up to a Stop sign at a crossing, but because nobody sees, he ignores it and drives onward.

  • he tells white lies to his wife so that she would not know he was having a beer with his mates after work.

Are these behaviours promoting honesty or will they, if we do them often enough and get caught out, create in us a culture of braking people's trust. Your son's, your wife's, your boss's, the government's?

Then at some point we ask why our sons do not ask us to play with them anymore, why our wives are not interested in where we are, why we are not being promoted and why the government is again increasing the tax rate. Its all because they can not trust us!.

And it all started because we showed them we could not be trusted by the way we lived.

Are you trustworthy? That is: Are you "worthy" enough so that people can "trust" you?

So let us stop this kind of behaviour before it gets to that point. Let Proud Men decide to act in trustworthy manners, at all time and with all people. If you are guilty of not acting in a trustworthy manner at some stage, why not go today admit it to the one you were dishonest with. Then repent and ask for their forgiveness. And then never cry "wolf" again !

But, you ask, how does a trustworthy man act?

Surely we need some indication of trustworthy behaviours that are consistent. There are two well known sources available to you to help you make decisions on trustworthy behaviour: 1. The rules and laws of the country or business and 2. Laws set by God.

  • The business where you work and the Government of your country has been given authority by God to run the business or country. They should be honoured (see one of my previous blogs on Authority), as should the rules and laws they draft. If you follow those, you will be called trustworthy.

  • The second Authority is God Himself and He provides indications of how we should act throughout the Bible. If you live as He asks, you will be known as a trustworthy man.

In Luke 16:10, the Apostle says "whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much".

Start today and make an effort to be honest in small things. Be on time for your appointments, adhere to the traffic laws, do for people what you promises them you would do, etc.

In short : Do what you say you will and always say what it is you did. THAT is honesty!

Once you are honest in small things, you will find it easier to be honest in all things. And that honesty will mean that people will find you trustworthy and give you more to be responsible for, because they CAN trust YOU. They will know that when you cry " wolf" , they can be sure that something is up and they will know that you WILL cry " wolf" when it is required.

Go Proud Man and be TRUSTWORTHY, that is what God is and that is the kind of man He wants you to be.