Building Trustworthy Relationships

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. Romans 14:19

Trust is a requirement in the world of relationships. It is a greater compliment to be told you are trusted than to be told you are loved.

Many a church leader assumes if he loves and receives love in return, the right atmosphere wherein God’s people can grow is created.

Love, however, is only part of the equation. Whether you are a leader in the church: pastor, trustee, treasurer, secretary, teacher; or a leader at home: husband, father, mother; or a leader on the job or at school; trust is the greater requirement.

The ideal atmosphere is when love results from trust.

woman carrying baby at beach during sunset

Trust is the foundation upon which a mature love can flourish. You usually have to stretch yourself beyond your current abilities when it comes to living and working with others. You have to develop skills to meet the challenges faced when dealing with others. You may be loved by your spouse or children, but that does not mean they trust you.

The ancient text instructs you to follow those things which make for peace and those things are connected with the edification of others. To edify is to build up that person. Every Christian duty includes the moral improvement of fellow believers. Building trust with a loved one or work colleague requires character and competence.

You have to become trustworthy in order to build trust. The challenging question:

Am I trustworthy?

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originally published 30 April 2007

Reflections on Peace During Trouble

Last winter, I was walking along Tamaki Drive in Auckland’s Eastern suburbs. I left out on a quest: to follow the sunset from St Heliers to Mission Bay. The constant change in beauty was breath taking. 

You can see the picture of a couple sitting on the beach. They are surrounded by the peaceful colours of the sun setting over the North Shore. The flattened ball of light reflects toward them across the waters. It is for moments like these I enjoy walking in Auckland.

Sunset

Reading Mark 1:21-28, I reflected on the topic, Peace During Troubles. Jesus was confronted with a contrary person. This person was heckling Jesus while he taught inside a place of worship. Jesus commanded this person:

‘Hold your peace’.

The opposite of peace is not war; it is the absence of fear.

Fear of the unknown robs you of your peace. I pondered the connection in the liturgy between the Gospel text and the reading from I Corinthians 8. Then I realized worshipping idols is a manifestation of fear. Devotion expressed to inanimate objects is a manifestation of fearing the unseen forces those objects represent.

In the Corinthian passage, this condition is referred to as being ‘unclean’. Our internal struggles require the power of peace. Peace is found through worship – but not worship of non-living forms.

Peace can be found in the midst of our internal struggles. Peace can be found during troublesome periods in our life. This is because you already possess peace! It is within you. Circumstances hide your peace. Look beyond your troubles and:

  • Find your peace!
  • Hold your peace!
  • Uplift your peace!

Spoil not the calm inside of you. Be not afraid of your troubles.

I believe one of the reasons I love to walk at days end is the feeling of peace it supports. The image I bring before you is that of the Orekei Basin. Although the Basin itself is not a secret, many are not aware of its lovely trail. You can circumnavigate these still waters without the trauma of Tamaki Drive’s numerous walkers. The trail is not suitable for bikes so you can walk without constantly looking over your shoulder.

There is peace on this walk.

The trail around the Basin is equivalent to 14 flights of stairs. There are so many different angles to capture beauty. Tress in the bush; birds over the water; clouds playing in the sky: all are ready to pose for a picture. I find this a very spiritual place where worship is natural.

Wharf

One particular evening last Autumn, I captured the wharf for this image. I could not help but think about how many are on a similar path. Looking for a way across unstable water, they excitedly enter on a built path. Yet the path is incomplete.

There are many paths to take through life. There are many spiritual leaders to follow. But to us, as Christians, ‘there is but one God’, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 8:5,6). Our God teaches us not to fear. He calls us to sound minds. When you let your mind run away to fulfill negative alternatives, you are robbing your own being of its peace. You are stealing from yourself. Stop the robbery! Hold your peace.

What is peace? It is the opposite of fear.

Where is Peace to be found? It is found in Christ.

How can you enjoy peace? The Corinthian passage emphasizes unity among Christ’s followers. Being at peace with your spiritual siblings allows individual peace to flourish. We are all connected. We are one in Christ. There is peace in Christ.

What is Pastoral Care?

The physiological aspect of healing is connected to the body’s five senses.

Medical and therapeutic healing is rooted in the understanding of these five senses. That is why I call this “sensual” wisdom. This wisdom is limited to only the five senses and the world-view is materialistic.

I’ve been involved with pastoral care for more than 30 years. I always looked at my work as supplemental to doctors and therapists. Pastoral care is not in opposition to the medical model of care. It is actually a part of that model.

Recently, I’ve been challenged to explain the relevancy of pastoral care in a medical environment. It has been a thought-provoking challenge!

My belief system of human composition is rooted in ancient scriptures. One text in particular sparked a 3 year research into soul healing:

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wholeness for a human being is manifested by peace. This peace is demonstrated by a readiness for future events. The holistic balance is not just between body and soul, i.e. medicine and therapy; it is inclusive of one’s spirit.

A person’s spirit is just as much in need of ministry as the body and soul. That is why the New Zealand Ministry of Health endorses holistic care: care that incorporates both body and spirit. Care givers that specialize in spiritual care are called pastoral care workers.

Instead of sensual wisdom, pastoral caregivers use spiritual wisdom. Spiritual wisdom is the understanding of how one’s spirit interacts with its physiology.

According to the University of Canberra’s website, pastoral care workers are trained to minister among “the elements that make up a person’s sense of self, his/hers inner resources, resilience and capacity to cope”.

The inner world may be invisible to the five senses, but it is still experienced. Because the sensation of an inner world is not experienced by sight, taste, sound, touch or smell, it requires a “sixth sense”.

Persons are able to perceive something different than the five physical senses. Pastoral care professionals encourage individuals in the science of reception. Reception is all about perceiving the inner world—that reality that exists outside of the five senses.

It has been my experience that care for the inner world of an individual affects their physiology, providing comfort and peace not experienced with medicine or therapy alone.

Peace During Trouble

My talk this Sunday will reflect on how to find peace during trouble.

This past week, I blogged 2 posts that were personal:

I want to thank everyone who has been supportive. I also want to encourage those who started following my blog because of those posts.

I can sense your hurt and search for healing. I get it. Thankfully, you can tell I’ve been there. I don’t have all the answers. I only have my story. The fact it resonates with you means a lot to me.

One of the most important techniques I used to heal was to identify when I was a peace.

When you are in trouble, it is not natural to think you already have peace. You cry for it; you long for it; you talk about it: but you do not consider it is already in your possession!

Your grief comes across you in waves. It is like you are standing in the water at the edge of the surf. Wave after wave crashes over you. Grief is not friendly. It knocks you over.

pexels-photo-728880.jpeg

In between those powerful waves, there is calm.

Where are you at? Literally. Are you with a particular friend? Are you with a certain group of people? Are you watching a movie? What is it that you are doing when you feel a bit of calm in your life?

Identify the times you feel more at ease with yourself.

And then stay there.

Easier said than done, I know. The idea is to learn to love yourself and take care of yourself. You also learn who to stay away from — some people are just plain toxic!

Peace CAN be found during trouble.

I would love to hear about your ideas and experiences.

Peaceful blessings on your weekend.

Timothy

P.S. I am speaking this Sunday at Albany Presbyterian Church. If you are in the area, please drop by.

P.P.S. Thank you everyone who purchased my most recent book, Finding Hope: How I rebuilt my life after it fell apart.