The Power of Trust

Note: This reflection continues a series based on the Bible book of Nehemiah.

Fernando Apezteguia, CEO of NTT Data UK, expanded on the idea that trust is the new currency in our marketplace.” and wrote, “. . . those companies that know how to spend it well can create a competitive advantage by making sure that their actions speak louder than words.” Is trustworthiness just another “key” to success? Skepticism stemming from misinformation, manipulation and fraud–even among Christians–has driven more companies to discuss this essential but elusive quality. Today’s business leaders and employees must not only earn but sustain the trust of increasingly cynical clients and colleagues.

1. Nehemiah was a model of trust in God. As we observe Nehemiah’s actions and attitudes over many years, we recognize the total trust he placed in God. His firm belief in the reliability, truth, power and strength of God was not just theoretical. Nehemiah continually demonstrated genuine reliance on God to direct his paths, open doors and provide the strength to pursue new opportunities and persevere through trials. Surely he had read Isaiah’s reassuring words: “Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.” (Isaiah 50:10b).

2. In response, others placed their trust in Nehemiah. The amount of credence that others gave to Nehemiah was remarkable! First, King Artaxerxes placed an incredible amount of confidence in him. We don’t have exact data about how long Nehemiah had served as the king’s cupbearer, but it’s safe to assume that such trust was tested and granted over a long period of time. Later, Nehemiah earned the trust of Jerusalem’s citizens too. He became the “general contractor” who oversaw the rebuilding of the city walls and then became their Governor.

3. Trust is built one choice at a time, over time. Luke 16:10 reminds us that “If you are faithful in little things you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest in greater responsibilities” (New Living Translation). How do we do this? Again, it is through trust in God’s renewing work. His Spirit instructs, corrects and empowers every believer as we grow up in our faith. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. . . “ (Galatians 5:22-23) Day by day, year by year we should increasingly exhibit these qualities in our personal and business lives.

4. Trustworthiness is a conviction, not a preference. How much do you value trust in your dealings with others? It should mean something vital and important enough to discipline ourselves to develop it. None of us are consistently reliable and worthy of another’s confidence. Ultimately, only God is perfectly faithful and true (Revelation 3:14; 19:11). But that’s not an excuse! As we yield ourselves to –and invite–God’s sanctifying and refining work, our character, homes and businesses can be transformed.

Nehemiah held the trust of King Artaxerxes as he continued to rely on God alone. Trustworthy followers of Christ who are full of integrity and humility are distinctive and shine brightly in any and every business environment. How will you trust in God more fully today with the goal of your trustworthiness pointing others to Him?

Serving Him with you in the marketplace,

David Atchison

Father God, I want my colleagues and clients to trust me like I endeavor to trust You. I ask You for that while I also struggle with a fear of letting others down. I want to be trustworthy in all of my business dealings and relationships, and not just for gain. But the truth is I don’t always come through for every person. There are times when I care more about disappointing people and my reputation than disappointing You or Your reputation! Keep building faithfulness and reliability into my life–for the rest of my life–so that others are drawn to You.

“My child, never forget these things I have taught you,

Store my commands in your heart.

If you do this you will live many years and your life will be satisfying.

Never let loyalty and kindness leave you?

Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart,

Then you will find favor with both God and people

and you will earn a good reputation.”

Proverbs 3:1-4