Trust is essential in every area of our lives. Without it, not only will it affect your relationships with people negatively, but also your relationship with God. In addition to this, if there’s no trust, you’ll find it hard to even trust yourself..
There are also levels of trust. For instance, you may believe in God and trust Him to save you. That doesn’t mean you’ll automatically feel safe to trust Him in every little detail of your life!
Some years ago, I realized just how big my trust issues were. And they were three-fold:
Even though I knew for sure that God existed, I found it hard to trust Him. I mean, I wasn’t sure what He felt about me, and if He really cared for me in every area of my life.
“Would I be OK, or would my life just be a waste?”
How can you trust someone, when you don’t know their heart?
What if you have had bad experiences with people in authority, as for instance parents, teachers or church leaders? When that’s what you know about being led by authority, imagine being led by God, and you’re not sure how He will take care of you, or if He’ll even care at all.
I also realized that I had trouble trusting myself. Hopefully you won’t know what I’m talking about, but some of you do. What if you don’t think you have what it takes? What if you make a bad decision? What if you’ll make a fool out of yourself? Better keep away from responsibility and growth experiences then. Somewhere I bought into the lie that I couldn’t trust myself!
The truth is that even before I believed in myself, God believed in me. God isn’t afraid we’ll mess up, or look funny. Actually, He believes in us despite the fact that He knows we will mess up. God has entrusted me with gifts and talents, with family and friends. A school. A work place. A city. A planet. When God trusts you, who are you to argue? Want to get wrecked? Ask God how much He trusts you..
Now, I trust myself, knowing that I have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16) I might mess up, but that’s OK, because I now know I can trust God to be good to me. I know that no matter what, He’ll love me unconditionally.
Trusting others is something I’m still working on. Trusting others sometimes means being really vulnerable, because you never really know what will happen before you do.
“Will they hurt me? Will they love me unconditionally? Will I be OK?”
I remember some years ago when I first realized how big of an issue this was in my life. I felt like God was telling me to trust more people (not everybody!), and open up more than I had in the past. I would say to Him:
“But what if I get hurt?!?”
I was so afraid of that. Of being rejected. Being discouraged. Wounded.
And then He said:
“I can’t and will not promise you that you won’t get hurt, but I promise you that I will always be there, and you’ll be OK.”
That did it for me.
I started opening up to more people, and yes, I did get hurt, sometimes deeply hurt. But then I also got so much more than that! Upon experiencing something I would say was about the most painful experience of my life, God reminded me of what He had said months earlier, and I realized He was right. He was definitely there, and I knew I would be OK, even though I felt like my heart was screaming and crying its eyes out. I realized again how much I could trust God. And I realized how powerful I was as well.
Even in this situation I was powerful! I had choices to make. How would I deal with the pain? How would I deal with those involved? With God? With life? What would I learn from this? I felt I reached another level of trusting God, myself and others in this. I could trust myself to manage situations like these. I would not be overcome. I would not be a victim.
During this time I had several different experiences with opening up and trusting people more. Some were really painful. But then so many more were amazing and gave me so much more than I had even anticipated! I decided it was so worth taking the risk of being vulnerable and trusting people, for the sake of gaining those precious new and deeper friendships.
Maybe you think sometimes that it sure seems easier for God to tell us to trust – why, He doesn’t have to deal with the same trust-issues as we do!
Still, He doesn’t tell us to do something He doesn’t do Himself. Do you know who’s my role model when it comes to trusting people?
God! Think about it. Starting with Adam and Eve, He has entrusted us all with great responsibility. For a family. For friends. People around us in general. Neighborhoods. Cities. Nations. The whole planet. Every day God trusts people. Some to be parents. Some to be different kinds of leaders. To be someone’s best friend. Someone’s teacher. Someone’s helper in a time of need.
We are entrusted with much throughout life, but usually mess up a great deal. God actually knows how this goes, even before we were born! His trust in us isn’t blind! He knows He’ll get hurt, and still chooses to trust. Over and over again. Why would He do it?
I think it is because He knows it’s sooo worth it! He’s not afraid of our messes. They have no power over Him. Instead, I think He lives by the saying:
“Better to have loved and lost than to never have loved.”
God is truly love. He is willing to take the risk that love is, and still trust.
When I’ve trusted other people, I’ve felt like it was all about this:
“Will I get hurt, or will I be loved? I sure hope it’ll be the latter one this time.”
Now I ask myself:
“Will I trust people with my heart and love no matter what?”
By trusting others, I show that I trust them. I entrust them with my heart. I tell them that I believe in them. That I expect them to be good stewards of relationships. I want to honor people in this way. And when someone messes up, I get to be there and love. They probably need that.
Why do people mess up relationally in the first place? I think it is the result of past wounds, which can lead to our own issues with trust and not feeling fully loved.
When God entrusted us with His beloved Son, Jesus, He knew He’d be hurt badly.
Still, He did it. He trusted. And He hasn’t regretted it. On the contrary, we were always worth the trust. He got more than what He lost. The same goes for us. As we choose to trust.