Trust Explained

Today, we will be talking about Trust. Trust is a belief. Trust is an arrangement. Trust can be made. Trust can be broken. Google Search autocomplete says this about people who question trust.

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Funny how trusting a boyfriend is harder. I won’t deny the statistics. I find it interesting what people search on our most widely used search engine on the planet.

“Trust takes years to build and minutes to crumble”

We’ve heard this before. Trust is a fickle thing. One minute you’re lifelong blood brothers/sisters. The next, you couldn’t be further from acquaintances. How can this happen? Why is the ratio so far off? Why can’t we trust a person again for weeks, months, or even years? What is the vendetta? Why the wasted time?

According to some definitions, Trust is a firm belief in the reliability, or ability of someone or something (higher power) OR Trust is an arrangement between two parties.

Huge in relationships. Massive with Faith in God. Trust is different for everyone. Some people, incredibly loyal, will sever ties with another for life when trust is broken. Some are much too trusting, giving it to anyone and anything. We know these people, and everyone in between. Early childhood experiences shaping their entire philosophy and paradigm on how they will ever trust again. An engagement broken off, leaving the party at the altar wondering if they will ever give their heart again. A family member betrayed, cutting loose a brother, sister, mother, father who they’ve loved their entire life. Trust is as old as time. God. Is he there? Do we feel Him? How can we trust something that we can’t see? can’t talk to? can’t touch?

Kant says that the realm of knowledge is the world as we experience it. He calls this the Immanuel_Kant_(painted_portrait)Phenomenal World, or the world as we observe it, taking in data, collecting. He calls everything else the Noumenal World, or the thing/idea observed. Can we know God and thus trust Him without taking in that data? without hearing Him? seeing Him? touching Him? This is what some Christians and members of other faiths struggle with. A mistrust leading to doubt, leading to worry, leading to fear.

In relationships, we see it Every. Single. Day. Divorce, break-ups, fights, arguments over a lie. The lie that lead to trust broken. Affairs, hidden gambling, addiction, etc. You name it, couples have seen it. A Google search result under trusting boyfriends/girlfriends struggles to answer the question: “How long does it take to trust after its been broken?” The article breaks the question into parts, as there is obviously more than one answer. 1.) The severity of the event that cause the mistrust. 2.) How often the event that caused the mistrust happened 3.) How open and committed both you and your partner are to healing the issues that caused trust to be broken and your commitment to rebuilding trust.  Even some of these “factors” can further be broken down. I realize that. Take-away: trust is complicated.

We hate getting hurt.

“How could they do that to me??”

“I will NOT be made a fool again.”

“How can I ever trust them again?”

“It’s not worth the pain again”

“How long do I wait before they understand what they did?”

“I just want things to go back to how they were before.”

In Psychology, we call trust, “believing that the person who is trusted will do what is expected.”  This of course has its flaws when we have certain expectations. When we’re born, we trust our mothers. Our family is who we trust first, and then moves outward to friends. When someone’s Father leaves, or doesn’t have a family to begin with, this foundation is already shaken. This formation of what trust is, means everything, and can greatly indicate ones well-being. Their ability to form inter-personal relationships leads to a certain level of happiness.

The truth is, when we are ready to trust again, we know. We know because we make that decision to take a step and allow ourselves to be vulnerable again, to be hurt again, to be lied to again, because it will happen. We know it will. We hope it doesn’t, but we know. What matters is how you manage. Will you be the unreasonable ex-communicator? Or will you take a healthier road to trusting again?

6 thoughts on “Trust Explained

  1. This is a very interesting first step into Theodicy. We who are believers in God hope that God will honor God’s faithful with blessing, as Proverbs seems to say, and yet Lamentations shows that even God’s chosen can suffer greatly. It’s amazing how connected our trust in others can be tied to our trust in God. I love that connection which you make and I wish you had talked more about it: the daughter who is abused by her father struggles to love a “father” God. The Christian who feels unanswered by God may find little wisdom in the advice of friends.

    I guess the question becomes how do the faithful and momentarily stable empathically support those whose faiths are in questions or whose lives are in turmoil? Even when we are faithful, terrible things can happen and it can be hard to believe God is struggling beside us. We too often buy into the lie that as we struggle God is standing in front of us withholding our relief. As Christians, I believe that we must recognize that God weeps beside us, that Jesus feels our abandonment by God as we feel it, and we too must stand beside our siblings in hardship (both within and without the church) just as God stands beside them. We do this if only so that when we too are one day laid low in this world, that Jesus will lay low with us as Jesus and as those whom we served before.

    1. Thank you David. I really could have gone on about the different examples where trust is slain. There are many. Thanks for your words and your wisdom on the matter. I appreciate what you had to say.

  2. Our experiences—usually going back to early childhood—will absolutely influence our ability to trust. Our experience with trusting others usually shapes our decisions to trust in the future (if, when, and for how long). The challenge is not to let our experiences with trusting flawed humans influence our trust in God who is perfect, complete, and lacking nothing. That’s where faith comes in. We choose to believe what God tells us about himself in his Word. We choose to continue believing when circumstances—and others—would tempt us to think otherwise. We trust that not only is God all-knowing and omnipresent, but that he loves us with a love that goes beyond our understanding—beyond our ability to make sense of it all. And in those relationships that have been scarred by hurt and betrayal, we then focus our trust in God, knowing that he has our best interests in mind—and those of the offender. We begin the process of rebuilding—and extending—trust resting in God’s love and grace towards us so that we can in turn extend that grace to those who have wounded us. When we get to the place where our joy and happiness are centered and secure in knowing we are sons and daughters of the creator of the universe, and that He found a way to make sure all those who put their trust in Him would be with Him forever, we find it easier to extend the amazing grace Jesus lavished on us to others. Great post Eric!

  3. Sharon Peterson

    Interesting! Trust is necessary in all our intimate relationships, especially our relationship with God. Only when we are vulnerable and fully trust, can we enjoy intimate relationships. May my trust in God continue to grow!

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