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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Trustworthy

One of the ways I know God is speaking to me concerning a particular subject is when that topic is presented to me in several different ways.  That is how I came to this subject.  I read John chapter 2 and a couple of verses caught my eye. Then, an Oswald Chambers devotional I was reading was based on the same verses.  I really felt impressed to write but, put it on the back burner.  Fast forward a couple of months and it was presented to me again.  I awoke at 6am Saturday morning and knew this was my subject. 

Trust.  Have you struggled with the concept that to love someone means you must trust them?  I have.  Those who have broken your trust might tell you they must go hand in hand.  If you don't trust, you don't love.  What does trust mean to you?  Webster's dictionary defines trust like this, "assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something.  One in which confidence is placed." As I read in John that day, I "saw" verses that I had not "seen" before.  John 2:24-25 says, "But Jesus didn't trust them, because He knew what people were really like.  No one needed to tell Him about human nature."  Hmmm, interesting. 

Recently I was given a survey of sorts to offer my thoughts on trust.  There were approximately 10 questions dealing with every thing from how I define trust and how I know others trust me to, have I ever broken the trust of someone, and if I had, was I able to re-establish it, and how?  Responding to that survey, really pushed me to search my heart on trust.

I love that God chose to include this passage because it appears that Jesus knew that we would befriend and even love those that we may not always be able to trust or that would break the trust we have for them.  Dr. Henry Cloud, Christian clinical psychologist, author and relationship expert, is quoted as saying, "Trust is not something that is freely given.  It is earned by our behavior.  A good character never feels "entitled" to trust.  Instead, he or she feels like he must prove himself to be faithful and that someones trust is not to be taken lightly."

The last question on the survey asked, "Have you ever broken trust with someone and if so, were you able to re-establish it and how?"  Here are a few things I have learned along the way:
  • The first steps always include confession and repentance.
  • Regaining trust takes time.  Remember that God forgives instantly a repentant heart but, with humans, it can sometimes take a little longer to work through the process.
  • When regaining trust, you must be willing to give permission to the offended one to ask questions and, be aware that you must be transparent and open without anger and defensiveness.
  • Realize, that returning, even if only briefly, to an old hurtful behavior could set you back and, according to how serious the offense, and how long you've been in the healing process, you may have to do some of those beginning steps again. 
  • When you've done all you can do (be sure that you've done all you can do though) and you still have not been able to rebuild trust, you must leave it to God.  You just keep on doing what is right and let God do what only He can do. 
I'm not a relationship expert and there is much more involved in these steps than it appears.  Use this as a spring board to learn more about this subject.  There are many great books, written by some great authors, to help you and I build and keep strong relationships. 

My desire is that I be found trustworthy.  I want others to know that my word will bond me.   Unfortunately, I have missed that mark before and have had to rebuild the trust that I damaged.  Allowing someone to rebuild trust that had been broken has also been apart of my life.  Both sides of that road can be difficult but rewarding.  I like how "The Message" paraphrases Proverbs 10:7, "A good and honest life is a blessed memorial..."  That's what I want, a legacy of being good and honest.  How about you?

Until we visit again,
Live blessed,
Carmen

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