Have you ever sat down to think about it? It is a relational word. We trust the chair, in relation to whether or not it will hold us as we sit. We trust the car, in relation to whether or not we will be able to drive where we need to go. We put out trust in things everyday. Yet many of us find it hard to do the same thing with people or even God.
When you or I decide to trust someone we are saying that we don’t believe that the person is going to bring us hurt or harm. We believe, within ourselves, that this person is trust-worthy.
Now, I am using the word trust, over and over again, but let’s look a what it means.
The dictionary defines trust as:
reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
confident expectation of something; hope
It is as if when we trust someone, according to the definition of the word, we put our faith in them. We believe that they are able to uphold the confidence that we place in them. It sounds very simple, but I’m sure that you, like me, find that trust isn’t always that simple.
I want to ask you a question. How do you determine who you are going to trust?
For me this is a hard one.
I am a very optimistic person. I find it very easy to see the best in most people. I want to have the best experience and relationship with everyone, but I know that this isn’t always possible. Since this is my desire, in the past, I didn’t have a test that I put people through. I would just trust them. I’d give them the opportunity to show me that they are not trust worthy. Now, I don’t recommend trying to do this with things that are very precious or important to you.
Well, what would happen if the person was not worthy of your trust? You would have trusted them with things that are very dear to you.
I had a situation like this before. I placed my trust in someone and shared very intimate details with them. I assumed that they could handle the things that I had given them. I thought that they were full of integrity. I must say, my expectations were very high. What I learned later was that, I had not rightly judged the situation. The person showed me that they could not hold the piece of myself that I had given them.
What a learning lesson that was. I decided to learn from it.
WARNING: There is a way to learn from a situation without making a vow to never allow something to happen again.
I caution you in this because I have learned that making vows, only open the door for a proving of the vow. Will you stick to it in the midst of a test or trial. Not only will it be tested, but the vow may change you, for the worst.
Imagine a person that has vowed to herself that she would never let a someone hurt her again. Her life would become a series of events that focus primary on avoiding that hurt which was experienced before.
Instead of taking a vow, I’d like to encourage you, as I have found encouragement to do this as well, pray. While you are praying for wisdom in how you trust, allow the person to prove that they are worthy of your trust. As they prove that they are worthy, give them more of your confidence.
Here is an example of this.
When my children ask for a privilege, like going outside by themselves, I give them specific directions to prove themselves responsible, obedient, and trustworthy.
Lets say that it is a cold day outside and there are children playing in front of our house from down the street. I will tell my son to put on his coat. I will also tell him to put on his play clothes and shoes. After proving himself in this area, I allow him to go outside. Don’t leave the porch. After he has proved himself in this, I place more of my confidence in him. “You can play with your friends, but don’t leave our street.”
At this point he has done everything that I asked him to do, so I back up, a bit, and allow him to play because he showed that he can be trusted.
After spending a few minutes out of my site, I’ve gone in the house, my son is playing and following all of the rules. I realize that I can trust him. He has demonstrated his ability to follow directions and to be responsible. The last proving will be giving a time limit. This will determine whether or not we can do this again.
This is how we should treat other people. Although it may seem hard at first, if we pray for wisdom and are wise, we will see if a person is trust worthy or not.
Today, think on what trust means to you. Do you find it hard to trust people? Do you have a system for the proving? Or have you left your self in a position to have your confidence broken?
Let’s make sure that our expectations are realistic and based in sound judgement.
Be encouraged today. 🙂