08
Feb
09

Trust

The other day I was talking to a guy about whether we can actually trust ourselves. We talk about trust as something that is assumed between married people, good friends, or even between business associates. Some don’t trust anybody. Some trust too much and get easily hurt in the process. Trust is defined as a: “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something“. Trust is something foundational. I trust that my car won’t blow up even though it is a piece of metal filled with elements that could potentially explode any second. I trust that the bed I’m sitting on won’t crash under me. And I trust that the sun will rise tomorrow again.

But trust between people is something special. When trust has been broken between people, we talk about how difficult it is to start trusting people again. We talk about that people have to earn our trust. “Earn trust” is really a rather strange concept. I am not quite sure you can earn anything else as important as trust. And in reality I don’t believe you can earn trust. Trust is a gift. It’s a precious gift we give each other in relationships. Children are naturally trusting. God made them that way. But it doesn’t take long for our trust filled hearts to be broken. Satan is very interested in making sure that we interpret messages about ourselves that we receive from people, so it boils down to the point where we trust nobody or very few people. 

Trust is a gift that is not be given away lightly. Don’t give your heart away to anybody. That’s being reckless and setting yourself up for heartache. We can tell too much too soon, and many people do that and end up heartbroken and damaged. 

The truth is, as Charles Solomon put it: “There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who have been rejected. And those who have been rejected a lot“. All of us have been hurt, and our trust has been abused.

We can’t really trust anybody

I believe the bottom line as far as trust goes, and that’s also what I ended up telling my friend, is that I can’t really trust anybody. Not 100%. Because we are all human beings capable of doing terrible things under the wrong circumstances. Even the nicest among us are people who can end up doing terrible things to you or just say a random comment that pierces your heart. Only one is completely trustworthy, and only one can give us the gift of trust to pass on to other people so we dare to be known for who we really are, not who we wish we were or who we hope to become. Only Jesus is 100% trustworthy. The one who is the same “yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 ) is the only one I can always trust. He will never do anything to hurt me. He will never reject me. He will never condemn me or judge me. He will never leave me. He will never run away no matter what I do. He will always love me completely just the way I am. He is living in me and changing my life from within.

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I love the Gospel of John. And as I was praying with my friend, God reminded me of a passage from John 14. It comes right after Jesus has told his disciples that all of them, including his best friends John, Peter and James would desert him and run away. They were all telling Jesus that he could definitely trust them…but Jesus knew the truth. They weren’t trustworthy. But then in the first few verses of John 14, Jesus makes it clear who they can really trust and who they must put their trust in for everything: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” and he goes on to talk about the place he is preparing for his disciples in Heaven and then he talks about himself as “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14: 9). 

I love that piece of truth. Jesus is worthy of trust. And because I know him and he lives in me, I can dare to trust people around me. I can dare to trust them with precious pieces of my heart, because I know that even if they would abuse the information and potentially desert me, there is somebody who will never ever do that. 

I have grown to trust Jesus more and more with my heart. He already knows me completely. But I have grown to trust him with my hurts and my wounds. I trust him to be my Good Shepherd who will lead me wherever I need to go to be formed more and more into his own image (Romans 8:28-29) whether that’s through the valley of the shadow of death or to the still waters (Psalm 23). 

Torben – who is happy that his relationship with Jesus is based on who Christ is and not on something I have to muster up!

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