Trust is the most valuable commodity of the human heart. It is the cornerstone of healthy relationships. Without it, relationships exist, but they’re not the stuff of which great partnerships are made. Without it, two people can be amicable, but the dynamic between them will not approach excellence. Mediocrity is the best possible outcome. Without trust, there can’t be faith, hope and love.
To trust is to rely on the character of another person, i.e. their kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control and integrity. When someone is untrustworthy, they become unreliable to serve the greater good.
Life’s basic building blocks are the relationships we have with other people. It’s vital to build your foundation on trustworthy ones. To that end, some questions are worth asking:
Am I deserving of others’ trust? Am I reliable? Am I dependable?
Before judging others, assess yourself. Understand and embrace any opportunities for improvement of your character to a higher standard.
When trust is lost, can it be restored?
Once severed, trust is very difficult to restore and the restorative effort is proportional to the severity of the offense. The greater the betrayal, the harder it is to earn back.
When trust is lost, do you need to forgive the offender?
Yes. Forgiveness is required to be able to let go and move on. Without it, you will harbor bitterness, resentment and anger. Forgiveness is for you, the victim, not the offender. You are the beneficiary.
Can you love someone you do not trust?
No. Love and trust go hand in hand. You can not love that which you do not trust. You can demonstrate love by being kind and compassionate, but you can not be in love with the other person.
How do you work or deal with someone you do not trust?
Take the first step. Initiate action. Serve them without any expectation of getting something in return. Give grace. Be kind. Show love. “Play on your home field” in a calm, assertive manner. Don’t let them throw you off your game.
Focus your mind on moments that serve as fuel and ignore the rest. Here’s a verse from the Bible that helps me to focus.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent and praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Philippeans 4:8)
How do you build your life on trustworthy relationships?
Be prayerful, patient and choose one of following three options for any relationship:
- Nurture the relationship with someone you trust that is bearing fruit.
- Convert an unhealthy relationship to a healthy one by attempting to allow trust to be restored. Recognize it’s possible, but very hard to do. The burden is on the offender, not the victim.
- “Trim the vine” of any unhealthy relationship that can not be converted to a healthy one. Pruning these relationships from your life will spawn new fruit bearing branches.
Options two and three are easier said than done, but you don’t have to have all of your doubts resolved before you make those decisions. To be wise, you must make a decision in faith knowing that problems will come, doing your best to plan for them and trusting God to provide what you need to confront them. Here’s a bible verse that gives me the strength to act in faith.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-2)