Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
This series of posts explores the topic “knowing God” – what it is, what it is not, why it is important, how it is possible and why it is relevant to marketplace leaders in the twenty-first century.
THE NEED FOR TRUST
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” ~Stephen Covey
“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” ~Zig Ziglar
As I consider my most important needs, the need to trust and be trusted is high on the list. As I see it, we need to trust others not only to have meaningful relationships but also to accomplish anything important.
From a personal perspective, the only time trusting others is never a good idea is when I’m riding my motorcycle. I always assume every other driver is completely oblivious to my presence and the unique risks I face as a motorcyclist. I’m seldom disappointed! Defensive driving in a car is an important safety measure. On motorcycles, it’s a critical survival discipline!
Motorcycling aside, trust is critical to living a full and satisfying life. As I write this post, I’m watching Leni, our four-year old granddaughter, excitedly enjoying our swimming pool. She just learned to swim a full length without floaties last week under the watchful eye of Madison, her instructor. The key to her progress is the trust previously established by Madison with Leni.
According to Covey, “trust is the glue of life.” As marketplace leaders, we cannot do business with anyone absent trust (see Ziglar’s assertion). Trust, however, has its downside. It always entails risk. To benefit from trust, we must risk breach of trust. There have been times when I avoided action because of this concern. As a result, I have likely missed some good opportunities. On the other hand, I have also pushed ahead in trust and subsequently wished I’d listened to the alarm bells!
In business, I address this risk/reward tension by performing careful due diligence all the while recognizing the inevitably flawed nature of the process. Additionally, personal biases can colour my interpretation of the data. At the end of the day, however, I must make decisions using imperfect information.
When I didn’t know God, I leaned entirely and of necessity on my own ability to discern whom to trust. Following my encounter with Jesus, my “trust barometer” was re-calibrated in two distinct ways.
First, by prayerfully seeking God’s wisdom, I often receive insights or simply impressions regarding whom I should trust. Thus, I need no longer rely solely on my own (often imperfect) judgment.
Second, I have come to appreciate that, unlike fallible humans, God is 100% trustworthy in every situation based upon the Bible’s many assertions about His unconditional, unchanging goodness. And these promises are confirmed in my personal experience. Thus, I have good reason to believe Jesus’ encouragement to trust Him, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” (John 14:1)
In a nutshell, to know God is to trust Him.
Next week, I will close this series “Knowing God” by exploring the need for forgiveness.
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.