“Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.”
The Jews who followed Christ wondered if He was the Christ, or if He was just a prophet and that they should look for another. They knew something was different about Jesus because of the way that He taught, and the miracles that He performed were like no other person. They asked Jesus, “How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus’ answer to these people was to remind them of everything He had said, and for them to look at His works, for these things validated everything that He said about himself.
A person asked me, “Bro. Domelle, how long do I have to continue doing what I am doing for my spouse to believe that I have changed?” This person had a life in the past that his wife had seen him make changes, but he eventually reverted back to his old ways. Even though this man had made a change in his life, this dear lady had seen this before, and she was just waiting for him to go back to doing what he had always done. I told this man that he must understand that just because he told his wife that he had changed was not enough, but he would have to prove to her over time that he had changed so that he could rebuild her trust in him.
The story of this man could be said about many people. I know that it may get frustrating for people to trust someone who has said they were going to change, but that broken trust is not going to be rebuilt overnight. A person who has been spurned by an adulterous spouse is not going to quickly trust their spouse again. It is going to take time to validate the change in one’s life. Four things are necessary to validate to others that what you say is real.
First, your witness is necessary to validate a change in your life. Jesus told this crowd to remember what He had taught. He was telling them to listen to His witness. A change in one’s life is often going to take an apology just to start going down the road of rebuilding trust. You can’t rebuild trust if there is no apology. Likewise, having the knowledge to know what to do builds trust in people whom you recently started leading. Saying you can do something and teaching people how to do it are two very different things. If you want people to trust you, you must teach them how to do what you say you can do.
Second, accomplishment is a great way to validate that you have changed, or that you know what you are doing. Many people talk about what they can do, but accomplishment validates that you know what you are doing. Not doing what you used to do over time is a great way to show people that you have changed. Doing what you say you can do validates that you know what you are doing.
Third, your testimony is a great validator. Jesus’ testimony should have shown these people that He was the Christ. Likewise, your testimony will prove you to others. Living the life that you say you are living or that you tell others to live validates what you are saying about yourself.
However, the biggest key to all of these things is time. Time always tells that you have changed, or that you know what you are doing. My friend, don’t become impatient over people not trusting you; it takes time to prove to others that you are real. Until that time, keep doing what you are supposed to be doing, and you will eventually build that trust in others.