Have you heard the story about the bicyclist who came to a small town to put on his dare-devil show? There hadn’t been mush excitement around for awhile, so the townspeople were thrilled as they gathered for the exhibition. They gazed toward the sky as the cyclist stretched a wire across the intersection, attaching it to the two tallest buildings in town. Then as he energetically scurried down, he addressed the crowd in his best carnival voice.
“How many of you people think that I can ride my bicycle on this wire across the intersection?”
Yeah’s and yea’s filled the air.
“Who will come and ride on my shoulders?”
Silence. Nobody even moved until one tiny boy came running forward. “I will.”
He was the only one who trusted the man’s word.
This story illustrates the truth about the word Trust. Many people can be cheering you on – in your ministry or your business. But do they really trust you?
We hear often that in order to be effective in our endeavors, people have to know, like, and trust us. But what exactly is trust? And how do we achieve that high level of trust with those around us?
Let’s take a look.
First, what is trust? The dictionary identifies the word as “the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, and effective.”
In it’s most basic definition, we live our lives in a trusting manner everyday. Every time we cross a bridge or drive on a highway or even sit on a chair, we are showing trust in what others have done. When we purchase food from the grocery store and eat it, we show trust in the store and the food producers. When we turn on a light switch or log on to our laptops we are trusting the electric company and the internet providers. As you might see, the list can go on and on.
Yet, even though our instincts tell us we need to have an attitude of trust, we know that there are people we can’t trust. On a personal level, almost everyone has at some time fallen for a phony minister or a slick salesman, and has been very disappointed in the outcome. So we are a little wary in our dealings with individuals.
With that in mind, we come to a very important point. As an individual, we can’t assume that people will trust us. We have to earn their trust. We have to prove to people that we are not like the phony minister or the slick salesman, but we are honorable, trustworthy people.
For our success in ministry or our success in business, we need to have the trust of others.
So how do we earn the trust? We prove that we are worthy of that designation over time and in everything we do.
During times of self-assessment, it’s good for us to take a look at the markers we mentioned earlier. Those markers are reliability, goodness, honesty, and effectiveness.
You might want to think about those markers as they apply to you. We are going to be looking at each marker individually.
So stay tuned for more.
Just remember, if people join your ministry or want to do business with you, they have to trust you.