Text: Psalm 15
I. It has occurred to me that a core problem in our society is that we don’t trust anyone.
A. Anyone trust the politicians? What about the news media?
B. For some there is now a lack of trust of the police.
C. What is behind this lack of trust?
D. I’m sure you heard Aesop’s story of the little boy who cried “Wolf!” but I would tell it to you again:
There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!"
The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of the hill, they found no wolf. The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces.
"Don't cry 'wolf', shepherd boy," said the villagers, "when there's no wolf!" They went grumbling back down the hill.
Later, the boy sang out again, "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!" To his naughty delight, he watched the villagers run up the hill to help him drive the wolf away.
When the villagers saw no wolf they sternly said, "Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don't cry 'wolf' when there is no wolf!"
But the boy just grinned and watched them go grumbling down the hill once more.
Later, he saw a real wolf prowling about his flock. Alarmed, he leaped to his feet and sang out as loudly as he could, "Wolf! Wolf!"
But the villagers thought he was trying to fool them again, and so they didn't come.
At sunset, everyone wondered why the shepherd boy hadn't returned to the village with their sheep. They went up the hill to find the boy. They found him weeping.
"There really was a wolf here! The flock has scattered! I cried out, "Wolf!" Why didn't you come?"
An old man tried to comfort the boy as they walked back to the village.
"We'll help you look for the lost sheep in the morning," he said, putting his arm around the youth, "Nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth!"
II. Samuel Johnson once pointed out, "We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us."
A. In a way its truth is a sad commentary that people tend to disappoint us.
B. The longer we know someone, the more distrustful we become because of what they have done or not done.
C. This is what is behind our lack of trust in politicians. We’ve caught them lying to us too many times
D. We don’t trust the media because many news reports contain falsehoods
E. Even the distrust in our police is root in a perception of unfairness. Whether deserved or not, that perception is being encouraged among the general population.
III. The lacking principle is trustworthiness - Luke 16:10-12
A. Being trusted isn’t a matter of accuracy at this moment, but the reliability you accumulated during the past.
B. Too many expect trust as a right
1. “Don’t you trust me?” is commonly asked by teenagers
2. The answer most often is “No,” but we’re usually too polite to put it so bluntly
C. Have you shown yourself reliable in the past?
1. Why would I expect a person who is often late to be on time for a critical meeting?
2. Why would I expect the truth from someone willing to lie if he thinks it will benefit him or achieve a desired goal?
3. Or, worse, how can I trust someone who lies because it’s “fun” to manipulate others?
D. Are you undertaking something new for which you have not established a record?
1. This is always the issue with teens who want to go to a late night party or who demand the right to spend time alone with someone of the opposite sex
2. They want trust for something they haven’t dealt with -- sexual urges.
IV. The character of a Christian is one worthy of trust
A. In business
1. Stewards are required to be faithful - I Corinthians 4:2
2. Not just when someone is looking - Ephesians 6:5-8
3. God cannot tolerate a dishonest business man - Proverbs 11:1
B. In marriage
1. A component of love is a love for truth - I Corinthians 13:4-8
2. Marriage is covenant to be kept - Malachi 2:13-16
C. In conversation
1. Faithful in word, in conversation - I Timothy 4:12
2. Letting your yes and no mean what you say - James 5:12
3. Does not change, even when it is detrimental to himself - Psalm 15
D. In service to God
1. Faithful men - II Timothy 2:2
2. Another name for Christian is the faithful - Colossians 1:2
3. The faithful servant - Matthew 24:45-47
4. Jesus rules over the faithful - Revelation 17:14
V. The Lord your God is faithful
A. He proved His faithfulness in keeping His promises - Hebrews 10:23
B. He has shown us His steadfastness - Hebrews 6:17-19
C. We can commit our lives to Him - I Peter 4:19
D. His children should do the same
1. Be faithful in all things - III John 5
2. Be faithful for life - Revelation 2:10