(This is an excerpt from a book I wrote for Tyndale House Publishers . It was a devotional for 8-12 year old boys. Find out more here: TYNDALE)
A clown and a cowboy went rock climbing. They climbed a massive mountain in the middle of the wilderness with no one else around. They were both having fun until the cowboy got stuck on one of the cliffs. He called up to the clown for help. The clown, knowing the cowboy needed something to grab on to, tossed down a rope to the cowboy.
Right before the cowboy was about to grab the rope, he noticed it was frayed in the middle. The cowboy yelled, “I can’t grab this rope! It’ll break and I’ll fall!” The clown chuckled. “I know, but I thought it was a funny joke.” The cowboy wasn’t laughing. The clown threw something else down, but the cowboy saw it was a snake and said, “I can’t grab on to this snake—it might bite me!” The clown laughed and then he threw another rope down, but it was covered with thorns. The cowboy was again upset at the clown, but the clown said he was just trying to have some fun.
The clown knew it was time to really help the cowboy, so he threw down a big, strong rope, but the cowboy wouldn’t grab it. The cowboy said, “What’s wrong with this one? I don’t trust you anymore.” The clown tried to convince him that this rope was good and that he was done joking, but the cowboy didn’t believe him. So they stayed there on that cliff and are still there today, all because the cowboy doesn’t trust the clown.
Trust is a hard thing to earn, and it is even harder to get back if you break it. God wants you to trust him, and he wants others to be able to trust you. If you say you’re going to do something, make sure you do it. Keep your promises and help people when they need it. You are a living example of God to other people, so if they can’t trust you, they might find it hard to trust God. Don’t be a clown. Be someone people can trust.