Winning With People Part 4: The Boomerang Principle 

On Sunday 19th July at our morning service, we finished our series Winning With People with the topic 'The Boomerang Principle'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.

To listen to the talk on-line, please click here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here.

Talk Notes and Summary

We live in a culture of suspicion and distrust and are encouraged to be suspicious of others: afraid of people cheating us letting us down and making fools of us. The television and papers are full of scare stories. Our ability and willingness to trust is being eroded. But just think about a time when someone put their trust in you. Remember how it made you feel and how it affected your relationship with that person because trust deepens relationships. In one of the biographies of Jesus, we read how Jesus trusted and entrusted his disciples with carrying out his mission.

Our reading was from Mark Chapter 6. You can read this by clicking here.

In verse 7 we see Jesus calling the twelve disciples to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits…

In verse 12 we see that they went out and preached that people should repent. 

This happens soon after the twelve start to follow Jesus. They have seen and heard Jesus preach, heal and cast out demons. Now Jesus was asking them to do the same. This was risky. His reputation was in their hands. They might do things differently; they might fail or say the wrong things. It’s probably scary for them as well, but also a real boost to be entrusted with this. Jesus did this because he knew what it would do in them? Trust is one of the greatest tools for building relationships because trust deepens relationships.

 “Trust is the result of a risk successfully survived”. Jack R. Gibb.

Jesus risked the disciples making a mess of things.  They survived the risk and his trust in them grew and their confidence grew as a result. We need to grow in trusting other people but also grow in being trustworthy ourselves. Trust is the basis of any relationship… friends, family, neighbours and people you meet professionally.
What is at the heart of trust? T.R.R.U.S.T.

  1. Truth; people have to know that we keep our word
  2. Reliability: our reliability is assessed from their experience of us.
  3. Relationship: it is easier to trust someone that you have a relationship with. You know their heart.
  4. Universal: you have to be trustworthy in different situations and contexts. Would you lie for a friend, if so that friend knows that you might lie to them!
  5. Sacrifice: it is easier to trust someone that has your best interests at heart. These people will be willing to sacrifice for you. That is how you know just how        much they care. They will give their time, their resources, maybe a listening ear when they are tired or busy. Sacrifice is the visible tangible sign of love.
  6. Truth: trust begins and ends with truth.

Like constructing a building trust takes time and needs good foundations. Trust is like a bank account. Every time you are entrusted with something and are found trustworthy it is a deposit. Each risk successfully survived is money in the bank. You have got to keep making deposits to make it grow. On occasions things will go wrong and it is like making a withdrawal. You have to keep making deposits to stay in credit. Too many withdrawals and too few deposits bankrupts the relationship. Because trust deepens relationships.

The boomerang principle builds on this.Jesus invested a lot of time and patience in the twelve that he sent out. He had no guarantee that it would pay off, but it did.
Just like throwing away a boomerang it comes back to you. You might not get the return but someone else benefits. Sometimes it just makes you feel good.

There are 3 types of people

  • Takers: only concerned about themselves, concerned only for others when it threatens what they can give you.
  • Traders: Give for what they can get.
  • Investors: Focus on others with no expectation of return, but usually get one.

“There is a destiny that marks us as brothers;
No one goes his way alone:
All that we send into the life of others
Comes back into our own.”
Edwin Markham

Jesus has invested in you. He came to earth to serve, to love, to demonstrate compassion, to die in our place, to rise to enable us to enter new life. He has demonstrated how to live a full life with great relationships. What he expects from his followers is for us to do the same. To put the needs of others before our own, to invest in others and if necessary sacrifice for them. Whether you would call yourself a Christian or not these principles apply. Trust is at the heart of good relationships and the more you invest in others the more you will get back.

Questions and Reflections (to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)

1. What are the issues is it that this talk raises for you?

2. Think of a person you don’t trust and someone that you trust completely. Why do you trust one and not the other? Make 2 lists. 
3. Do you think that you have trust issues, if so why and what can be done to overcome them?

4. Are you trustworthy or is this something that you need to work on?

5. Who do you need to put trust in? A friend or colleague or maybe even Jesus?
6. Takers, Traders, Investors: Which kind of person are you more likely to want as a friend or colleague?
What kind are you a giver trader or a taker? Is it different in different circumstances? If so why is that?

7. What sort of a return do you experience when you help others? 

Steph Littlejohn, 19/07/2015