TRUST IS THE GLUE IN ALL RELATIONSHIPS
No organization survives when there is a lack of trust. This is especially true when the lack of trust occurs between the management and staff or between the organization and its customers. Trust cannot be cultivated without the time required to build it, and for relationships to develop. I’m always amazed at salespeople who proclaim, during the very first time they meet a new prospect or client, that they are your “trusted advisor.” I had a colleague who once said this to a client we shared after he had been working them for only a week. This could not have been true, even though my colleague was an honest person. The truth is, trust must be earned; it must have a track record. It happens when the other person grants you trust—you can’t claim it.
A few weeks ago, I attended a two-day conference called the Global Leadership Summit (GLS). This is a worldwide meeting of Christian business leaders with discussion topics on leadership. The content includes Christian values but the sponsors always do an excellent job of making non-Christians feel welcome, too.
The program was broadcast live and was simulcast in 40 countries and in hundreds of churches in the U.S. One speaker, Craig Groeschel, spoke on the topic of trust.
His point was this: when God trusts you and you succeed, he then expects to give you more responsibility. This is the parable called the “Parable of the Bags of Gold” told in Matthew 25 but could be called the “Parable of the Lost Opportunity.” The man in the parable who goes on the journey represents Christ and the servants represent believers given different levels of responsibility. What Jesus is looking for is faithfulness, and all the servants (or believers) were fruitful to some extent. The fruitless person is unmasked as a hypocrite and loses the opportunity to gain even more responsibility and trust.
Both the man with the five bags of gold and the two bags of gold received the same reward, which tells us that rewards are based on faithfulness and not results. This is critical to understand because God expects that when we do his work, he takes responsibility for the results.
This parable is an excellent example of the mutual trust between God and his people. God’s side of the trust relationship with us looks like this:
-he trusts us to be stewards of this earthly kingdom
-he trusts us with free will
-he trusts that we see him as the one and only God
-he trusts that we seek him earnestly and always
-he trusts that we will be his workers to restore his earthly kingdom.
Our side of the trust relationship with God looks like this:
-we trust that when we “ask, seek, and knock” that God hears us and responds
-we trust that God’s plan for us is always better than our own
-we trust that God’s timing is always better than what we want
-we trust that when we earnestly and prayerfully ask for the Holy Spirit to join us God will send him.
We trust in God; God trusts us. There’s no simpler way to say it, and it’s a powerful expression of the relationship with our Lord for which we strive.
Do you see how this relates to your business relationships? God expects us to be faithful and have integrity in all our business relationships, and when we do, he will deliver extraordinary results.
Think about what has happened when you have been faithful and treated your staff and customers with honesty and integrity. I’ll bet the Lord has blessed you in many ways and continues to empower you. And once you develop trust, you can go much farther in continuing to build healthy relationships. One of the speakers from the GLS said it best: “If you’re not dead, you’re not done.”
6 Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. 7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
The Parable of the Bags of Gold