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Who do you trust?

June 7, 2013

Way back in the dawn of time, or at the very least the dawn of the TV era, i.e. the 1950s, there was a TV game show by the name given above.  You’ve got to be as old as I am to remember it and frankly the game show wasn’t all that memorable.  In essence, competing married couples were asked questions and the man or woman was given the choice to answer it themselves or “trust” their spouse to have the right answer.

The show was unremarkable and in a few years passed into obscurity.  About the only lingering claim to fame it can make was that it’s MC/announcer team of Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon went on to bigger things together.  But the question in the title is still with us.  Who do you trust?

The answer for most Americans is “not very many people.”  Government, businesses and unions all fail the trust test if polls are right.  Sadly, so does the church.  We don’t very much trust lawyers, doctors, the media, clergy or any number of professions.  Bloggers, relatively new to being added to the “do you trust” surveys, managed to become untrustworthy in record time.   It is a wonder we know anything at all with virtually everything we know coming to us from untrustworthy sources.

Trust in government, or lack thereof, is in the news lately.  I am hearing these past few days that the government is in some way monitoring our phones, e-mail, web surfing, video chats and, I suspect, social media.  My wife uses Skype quite a bit to contact her coworkers around the world and was bemused to learn that somewhere in the Federal system there is a record of those talks.  In any event, the key question buzzing around is whether we can trust the government with all that stuff.

As I said before, the church, and it’ leaders, has taken quite a beating in the trust polls for some time now.  Sadly, the numbers seem to be declining.  God however fares slightly better.  His favorability ratings remain in positive territory for the most part.  Even polls taken about the recent Oklahoma storms showed a majority of Americans felt more need to trust in God, rather than less, as a result.

How is it that a God largely seen as trustworthy has come to have so many untrustworthy followers?  It would be nice to blame the media because, after all, nobody thinks they are trustworthy.  We can also try and blame the assorted bad-mouthing we get from “others” (atheists, pro-choice, liberals, gays, etc. etc.) for our problem of trust.  It would really be nice if I wasn’t the problem.

But I think maybe I am.  We’ve been trained to witness, to stand for truth, to stand against the devil, to defend the faith, to confront sin.  Sometimes, when I list all the things I am supposed to stand for, or against; all the things I am supposed to confront, it is a wonder I even like myself.

Would it be OK if I got tired of “standing” and sat down?  Would it be OK to listen to others with a desire to understand them and their views?  Would it be OK when I need to “be ready to give an answer” to wait for someone to actually ask for one?  Would it be OK to spend more time thinking how I need to change in order to be a person that is trusted rather than ways to make others trust me?

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From → Christianity

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