Not long ago, a friend expressed his appreciation for our relationship. He spoke of how often he had confided in me through the years. I came away from that conversation not only appreciating our friendship more but with greater resolve to always be a trustworthy friend to him.
Far too often we learn that some people are just not trustworthy.
- A person sabotages an initiative of a co-worker behind her back while being nice to when she is present.
- You learn that a man in your community apparently has been living a double life that totally violates the convictions he claims to hold.
- A student plagiarizes material that she used for a research paper.
- A friend tells someone else some information that you shared with him in confidence.
In friendships, in a church, or in a working relationship, it is especially important to know that you can trust another with what you say and what is said to you.
There is absolutely no substitute for being trustworthy.
1. Consider a person’s manner. If he regularly gossips, breaks the confidence of others, and bad-mouths people, do not expect him to speak differently regarding you in your absence.
2. At the very least, consider the reputation of another. A person once said to me regarding a mutual acquaintance, “Do not tell him anything that you do not want repeated to others.” That turned out to be very wise counsel. On the other hand, I was recently advised regarding a mutual friend, “You know that you can confide in him. So many of us do.” He had earned a very good reputation.
3. Express appreciation to those you have found to be trustworthy. Such relationships are not to be taken for granted. In a culture where trust is often broken, others might be encouraged to occasionally hear you express your appreciation for their trustworthiness.