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The Power of Trust
Photo: Emiliano Spada
E.M. Forster, English novelist and essayist, once said, "If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I should hope I should have the guts to betray my country."

Sounds pretty radical, almost unpatriotic. But what he's emphasizing is the significance of trust and being trustworthy in order to have great relationships. Can my friends count on me? Is my word good? Do my actions correspond to my words? Do I refuse, at all costs, to betray them? To instead stand up for them, to speak on their behalf, to fight for them? What kind of a friend am I willing to be?

Unlike the man who went into a fried chicken fast food restaurant in Long Beach several years ago and bought a couple of chicken dinners for himself and his date. After driving to their picnic site, when they opened the bag to eat the chicken, imagine their amazement when they saw, not chicken, but money - $800 to be exact! Apparently, the young lady at the counter inadvertently gave him the proceeds from the day instead of his change - a whole bag of money instead of chicken.

Instant Hero

The man quickly put the money back into the bag and drove to the restaurant. "Mr. Clean" got out, walked in, and became an instant hero.

The manager was obviously thrilled! He said, "This is wonderful! Let me call the newspaper. I'm gonna have your picture put in the local newspaper. You're the most honest man I've ever heard of. You're a hero!"

"Mr. Clean" quickly responded, "Oh no, no, no! Don't do that!" And then he leaned closer and whispered, "You see, the woman I'm with isn't my wife ... She's somebody else's."

So much for Mr. Clean. Nothing destroys trust more than dishonesty. I can speak from painful experience! Without trust, great relationships die or can never happen in the first place. Trust builds safety. And safety creates the environment for deep love to grow and bloom.

So what kind of relationships do you want in your life? Are you bringing real trust to them? Do you have a place where you're trying to learn how to develop trust - trust in others, trust in God, trust in yourself?  It's not an easy journey for any of us. No one said it would be. But it sure helps doing it with people who support you.  After all, wouldn't it feel good to have people in your life who would rather betray their country than you?

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By Greg Nelson. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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