#184: How Do I Trust Thee? Let Me Count the Ways!

Back in the late 70’s mood rings were all the rage. They changed color supposedly indicating the mood of the wearer.

Trust, Mood Ring

I wish there was something like a mood ring to determine if someone was trustworthy or not! The trust ring would turn color based on how trustworthy the wearer was. If you were lying through your teeth to me, it would be red. If I could count on every word you uttered as being the truth, it would be green.

Politician’s rings would be red most of the time. Police would solve crimes faster if they had trust rings to put on suspects. All-in-all, the trust ring is a much better idea than Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth (young people – look it up).

My problem is I tend to trust people quickly and completely. Sometimes that led to great relationships. Sometimes my tendency to trust quickly has been met with bitter disappointment. I trusted salesmen to deliver on their promises. I trusted co-workers to deliver their work on time. I trusted bosses who promised a raise or a promotion.

Yep, in my life there have been lots of times when having a trust ring would have come in very handy!

Slightly older and somewhat wiser, I now look for specific characteristics in people as indicators of trustworthiness. Together, these five characteristics are sort of my own Trust Ring.

1) Trustworthy people don’t gossip.

Trustworthy people do not traffic in gossip and can keep a confidence. When you share a confidence with a trustworthy person you can be sure they won’t repeat what you said around the office water cooler.

“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret” (Proverbs 11:13).

2) Trustworthy people are encouragers.

Trustworthy people are natural encouragers. They have the ability to make you feel better during even the most trying times.

“Like the coolness of snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the spirit of his masters” (Proverbs 25:13).

3) Trustworthy people are reliable.

Trustworthy people are consistent and reliable. You can count on them to do what they promise.

“So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches” (Luke 16:11)?

4) Trustworthy people are honest.

Trustworthy people are consistently honest. They are honest all the time, not just when it is convenient.

“At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent” (Daniel 6:4).

5) Trustworthy people are healers.

Trustworthy people are reconcilers. They bring healing to difficult situations. Untrustworthy people are divisive. They make difficult situations worse.

“A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy brings healing” (Proverbs 13:17).

These five characteristics are my Trust Ring. Feel free to borrow them and use them yourself, at least until someone makes a real Trust Ring, or Wonder Woman comes along with her Lasso of Truth.

Join the Conversation

As always, questions and comments are welcome. Have you known and worked with someone who was trustworthy? Someone who was untrustworthy? How did their behavior impact the organization or you personally?

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Category: Personal Development | Integrity

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  • Ron- How I wish we had a trustworthy ring for people to wear. It would save a lot of time and money doing backgrounds on potential employees! Also, regarding gossip, here’s some wisdom from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”