The Three Questions Always Asked in Relationships


If you really want to know a person, consider their trustworthiness, their competency, and how compassionate they are.

I love to hear great speakers. Years ago, someone gave me a recording of Lou Holtz giving a motivational speech to a bunch of sales people. What he said has never left; it comes back to me all the time.

He said “People always ask three questions before they buy from you. They want to know….

Can I trust him?

Does he know what he’s talking about?

Does he care about me?”

When I heard this, I thought “Heck, those are the questions I ask about my boss…and my next door neighbor.” As I’ve mulled them over, I think they’re the questions behind all our relationships.

Can I trust him relates to characterIs my new friend, my boss, my potential business partner someone I’d hand my wallet to? Does he say what he’s going to do and then do it? Is he a person I’d like my wife and kids to get to know?

Does he know what he’s talking about speaks to competenceIn business, we need people whose knowledge we can depend on because we can’t know everything. And we can’t hire enough people to know everything. We have to engage vendors, advisors and professionals who know the stuff we don’t, and we can’t afford to question what they tell us.

If he cares about me….really…about me, that’s compassionYeah, lots of people will care about me when a big contract is up for grabs. But does he genuinely care about people, of which I am one. Will he tell me the stuff I need to know, even if it’s hard for me to hear? Will he be there with me and for me when it gets really tough?

As a dad, I can’t think of better over-arching goals for raising kids. We want our kids to be trustworthy. They’ll have a really hard life if they miss that one. So we do the painful work of calling them out when they mess up; spanking, grounding, water-boarding…all things good parents do to lead their kids to become men and women of integrity and character.

We want them to learn and be good at what they do, so we encourage them toward things they love. Eventually, they find something that fits them and they take off. One of the best phone calls I ever got was from my daughter as she walked to her car after her first day as a teacher. “Dad, I love it…I think I found my niche” she said. I smiled clean to the bone.

And compassion….caring for others may be the hardest. Our world is built around self-everything and we spend a lot more time teaching our kids to compete with people than help them. Building men and women for others is an inexact science that’s more caught than taught. And it may be the most important because true meaning in life will only be found in an “others focus”. People are what really matter because they go on beyond this life.

Ask these three questions about our Heavenly Father.

Can I trust Him? Absolutely. He loves to give good gifts to His children. And even when we have disasters, we know in the long term everything works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Does He know what He’s talking about? I’d say our Creator, the Author of our faith (and the Bible), and Master of everything would get a yes to that question.

And does He care about me? Does He care about you? He died in our place so we could have freedom from our sins. Then He gave us the Holy Spirit so we would never be alone…so we could have continuous access to Him.

What an amazing friend we have.

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