“But Jesus did not yet entrust himself to them, because he knew how fickle human hearts can be. He didn’t need anyone to tell him about human nature, for he fully understood what man was capable of doing.” – John 2:24-25 (TPT).
Trust is the cornerstone of every relationship. In fact, nothing brings out the best in people faster than having somebody believe in them and trust them. But as essential as trust is for healthy relationships, trust is also tricky. Trust will not just happen. The past is often seen as the best predictor of the future. We want to know how someone acted in the past when faced with a similar situation. Last time I confided in him, did the information show up in the grapevine? When she said she could complete the project by a certain date, did she do it? Last time I loaned my brother-in-law money did he pay it back? You get the idea.
Whether you are trying to win the trust of someone or someone is trying to win your trust, a trust is not won instantly; instead, it is earned by consistent actions repeated over time. You become trustworthy by proving that you can be trusted. Trust is making yourself dependent upon another person for some result or outcome. So the question is this: If you are in a relationship, to what degree is that person trustworthy? And yes, the next question is, are you a person of trust?
There is nothing more relational than trust. If we trust our wife or our husband it means that we don’t have to check on them. If you trust your teammate, you know they’ll be there when you need them to be. If you trust your friend, you know they’ll keep their promise. Trust develops and even in the times when we don’t know for sure what they will do, we don’t sweat it, because we know their character well enough to trust them to do what is in our best interest.
Real trust that leads to radical relationships assumes that the one you trust demonstrates the characteristics of honesty, fairness, truthfulness, justice, morality, ethics, and consistency. When reading that list most people would be sighing and saying, “that leaves out everyone I know.” But it does leave virtually everyone out, except for God. God’s character encompasses all those things and more. He is the ultimate example of one who is moral, ethical, and consistent. He is unfaltering. He is dependable. He has earned our trust. He is worthy of our trust. And by trusting Him, we can develop trust in horizontal relationships as well.
Our hope, our trust, and our faith do not find their strength or confidence in the actions of a fellow sinner, but in the steadfast love of a sinless Savior. There, and there alone, will we find a well of trust that never runs dry and never betrays.
- Can you respect someone you do not trust, and can you trust someone you do not respect?
- What can I do this week to trust God and trust others?