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“Some people are your friends all the time and others are only friends of convenience when they are with you!” I made the comment during a discipleship meeting with a young man whom I believe is going to be a great leader in the future. I continued on to explain that I saw this as a matter of character and trust.

I want this young man to be a man of his word who can be trusted. I personally believe that means being the same person all the time, not living a life of duplicity. I am instructing him in what it means to be a man after God’s heart. The practical aspect is that if we live holy lives then it should be demonstrated through a life of integrity.

Perhaps you think I am pressing this point but I doubt that I am the only one who wants people to say the same thing to my face they say when I am absent. The world uses phrases like “back-biting,” “back-stabbing,” or “character assassination” while we disguise ours with the spiritual cliché of a supposed deep concern or prayer request. Regardless of how we couch it, it’s wrong and it is sin.

I am disturbed by untrustworthy people who occupy Christian “leadership roles” yet feel less responsible to maintain trust than those with no spiritual compass. The good news is not only the incredible number of trustworthy men and women already in leadership but the trend I see with the younger generation of leaders. Many in this generation are committed to their “Yea being yea and nay…Nay…” (Matthew 5:37) which is refreshing.

I was thinking about what it means to be a person of trust and here are some random thoughts. I am not saying these are principles or even character qualities although some fit into those categories. They are just my thoughts.

  • I can tell them anything without fear of it’s being broadcast at my expense.
  • This person is trustworthy when they are standing in front of me or when they are a thousand miles away.
  • They will not believe gossip about me without checking with me first nor will I about them.
  • I can share my heart, my fears, my failures, and my frustrations – and not have to listen to a lecture about how to be “fixed.”
  • They may correct me or put me in my place but they will never gang up on me.
  • If they approach me with a concern I know it is valid because they have my best interest at heart.
  • What they say to my face they will say to someone when I am not present.

Trust is vital to leadership, especially if you want to be an authentic leader. This generation is not interested in following a leader who is marked by duplicity.  BTW…neither am I!

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