Those who have been given a trust must prove faithful
1 Cor 4:2
Trust is relationship glue. The depth and strength of any relationship is inextricably linked to the trust between the people in it. As trust builds, so does the relationship. As trust declines, so does the relationship.
Remember that relationships are like soil; they need to be cultivated and kept free from weeds. So, we must do all we can to never let the weed of ‘mistrust’ take root in our relationship soil.
Every small lie, little deception or half-truth is a little ‘weed’ of mistrust. And their roots quickly spread and become more entangled if allowed to continue unchecked.
The ‘weed’ of mistrust has only one remedy: the ‘feed’ of ‘being trustworthy’. And that can take a long time to demonstrate, so we sometimes try and fix mistrust in other unhelpful ways. Let me explain:
- It is not a ‘promise’ issue. The answer to mistrust is not found in promising, ‘I will never to do it again’ or ‘You can trust me from now on’. The only answer is to BE trustworthy over a period. Words are meaningless when trust is eroded.
- It is not a ‘love’ issue. It is no good saying, ‘If you really loved me, you would trust me again’. That will never remove the ‘weed’ of mistrust. We all love people we do not trust – like our children for example! We love them but don’t always trust their judgement or ability to handle certain tasks. It is, in fact, foolish to trust a person who does not deserve to be trusted. You can still love someone but not trust them in certain things. Only as they demonstrate trustworthiness over time will that be recovered.
- It is not a ‘forgiveness’ issue. ‘If you had really forgiven me, you would trust me again’, many a guilty party has protested. But this is also faulty thinking. Forgiveness does not immediately take the relationship back to where it once was. A willingness to forgive is crucial to the health of any relationship. But just as you can love someone and still not completely trust them, so you can forgive a person and not fully trust them. And again, it would be folly to do so.
The only true remedy for mistrust is to BE trustworthy. So, get yourself a reputation for being totally trustworthy by proving yourself worthy of the trust people give you.