Trustworthiness is a quality every one of us should have. Being trustworthy can be a difficult thing to do especially nowadays where crimes and fraudulence are rampant in society. Most of us may have at one time lied or became dishonest about something. We humans have the natural tendency to avoid stressors or sources of threats, dangers and problems by escaping these adverse factors. We sometimes think telling the truth and staying honest can be inconveniencing and stressful for us that we our natural escape mechanism of lying, cheating and shifting blames. Earning another person’s trust is based upon honesty, integrity and reliability. If we are struggling in any of these areas, then we are also struggling with being trustworthy.
What do and how we do things can tell a lot about our characters and we can also make the same inference from what we see other people do. Honesty and integrity should work hand in hand for an effective evidence of trustworthiness. Sometimes, it just isn’t enough to say that you are honest or say things honestly. You need to mean what you say by supporting the honesty you stand for or making good on what you say to people – that is integrity. Integrity is the next step after honesty. Although most the times honest is the term used to describe people who return items other people accidentally lose or leave behind, the driving force for these ‘honest’ people is integrity. After consciously knowing that the item they found is lost and is not theirs, they make the necessary course of action to do in such situation: return the lost item to the rightful owner in any way possible.
As Christians, trustworthiness is a character we need to develop. Setting good examples for others, especially outside the Christian community is an effective way of showing people the goodness that we are capable of when we follow the ways of Jesus. When we are being consistent and unwavering in our trustworthiness, we can make powerful deliveries of the Word of God through words and deeds. But we should not just practice this quality for the sake of being Christian. This one way Jesus wants us to win over the hearts of people of little belief or non-believers. Although we could not immediately win them over to follow Jesus, teaching them about the value and importance of trustworthiness can help them become trustworthy people themselves through constant leadership by example and positive reinforcement. Being trustworthy can also develop the sense of justice in other people. When they see that you do the right thing without being told to do so or without being observed, it changes the perception of the people about the inherent goodness of man.
An example would be about a friend of mine who went to went to a new dentist a few years ago. The dentist advised my friend that he needed a crown, although his teeth looked perfectly fine. The same recommendation was given by the doctor after a year for his other tooth. I recommended he get a second opinion before agreeing to the recommendation — he got a third opinion from my own dentist and the second dentist and mine both agreed that his tooth was just fine and did not need a crown. My friend switched dentists and stuck with the dentist who gave him a second opinion about his crown. Since then, his visits have always been about cleaning and sometimes about small fillings, but there was no mention of a dental crown. In this example, we can see that the second dentist acted justly even when it’s economically unwise. The first dentist had much to gain from the unnecessary procedure and the cost that comes along with it by acting against my friend’s interest.
From the example above, we can recognize who is the trustworthy health professional. The same can be said for all of us. We have to be honest, have integrity and be reliable at all times, even if we are tempted with the prospect of exponential material gains. We should not lose focus on the things our we need most (salvation and eternal life) to the lure of worldly riches, which are temporary and bound to fade away.