We are looking for a professional builder. There are lots who say they are trustworthy, have integrity, offer a fair deal for both parties, and will complete for work as if we are their only customer … And then there is reality.
Which is why there are organisations addressing the gap – offering “you-can-trust-us vetted tradespeople”.
We have found those organisations are manipulated just as easily as us customers.
So yesterday I approached a
tradesperson we really trust. One we know but not for this kind of project. I didn’t expect anything back. Except I got back a name and number. Someone he knew personally. Who had worked on his own home. And because we trust this person, we also trust any recommendation he gives us. Because trust is like that.
People do trades –
tradespeople are people first and experts second.
I think it is why Christians get such a bad-rap. Christians are often taught to be Christians first and second. And – just like trade organisations who purport to offer “vetted” people – so too the Christian Church: “We are in but not of this world” … “We have been saved and you can be too” … “We are safe and you can trust us” …
It is the taught “high-bar”.
And yet I meet people in every walk of life – with and without any faith – with and without any saving – with and without any and all religion … People who are people first and people second and see no “high-bar”. Because people are like that.
And if “tradespeople” can be people of integrity in every walk of life – then anyone who chooses to label themselves a Christian has the same choice.
For my whole life I was taught Christians are different. That “we” see things differently – “we” live differently – “we” live better and fuller lives – “we” have been saved and will live for ever. I was taught that to “be that” all I had to do was to get through the grind of this lost and sinful world – carrying my accepted cross of burden – my expected “suffering and service” stuff. And the organisation of “church” deemed me to be a person of integrity because that is what “Church” deems itself.
We are safe (and so are you when we’re around) because we love you (see … it’s commanded)!
I think it falls at the first hurdle. At the “we” bit.
Because “we” makes me the label. The label is first and my person secondary. As in the strap-line … “All Are Welcome”.
Even the cruddy ones who really aren’t … shouldn’t … and wouldn’t be (if we weren’t all commanded).
And trust isn’t like that.
Trust isn’t “being commanded to be nice” (just as love isn’t). Because trust and love aren’t either of those when “commanded” (in return for everlasting life).
And the God Soft Hand Jesus I read of (in this mashed and edited and politicised bible) was with a crowd who lived by cultural rules. A crowd who needed rules. A crowd whose every step was dictated by “we”.
Whose label came first and humanity a very poor second.
And I am not talking about the dreaded Pharisees – the Bogeymen of the Bible. I am talking a society of normal ordinary people … The “Cultural” Chosen People.
Those born into the machinery. Into the rules and regulations. Into the expectations and ways of doing things. Into the “in” or “out” of their society and religion. Of the “politicised” and “cultural” living of being
Christian or Muslim or … “Chosen”.
The label that puts people second (if at all).
And there were very good people in that “walk of life” as there are in every walk of life. But as for being different … ?
Just as today the UK is (or was) a “Christian Country” – as the USA still calls itself – as much of the west thinks itself – whereas “the east” isn’t. They have a different culture and faith and religion – they have similarities to ours but “they” are not “us”.
I have no idea of this trusted (trade) person’s views on faith. I don’t need to. I know him as a person I can trust. And his reputation rests on being that person in everything he is and does.
Because trust is like that.
Which is why I think there is a second (taught) hurdle for “Christians”.
People of Integrity never seem to find “being that always”
a cross of burden a “high-bar” at all.