72019May
Too Risky to Trust?

Too Risky to Trust?

I am not one who trusts easy. Throughout my life, I have leaned more towards waiting for others to prove their trustworthiness before letting down my guard. I have erred on the side of caution, assuming the worst in others. Self-protection often seems much more important than anything “trust” could offer. Hurt, rejection, betrayal, and a dose of what seems like an inborn tendency to mistrust have all led to this perspective. If those were not enough, my own failures in being trustworthy have added to the belief that trust should be regarded as something dangerous and bound to wind up in disappointment.

Trust is worth the risk.

Wow, what a ridiculous bolded sentence. For those of us who struggle with trust, those five words might strike us as annoying, at the very least. They likely have garnished a quick roll of the eyes. I will admit, I often do not believe that sentence, either. At any given point in my life, only a handful of people experience me turning off my self-security system and allowing myself to trust. So, why would someone who seems to fear trust so greatly bother writing about the “benefits of trust”? Despite my trust being violated many times, the times that it has been honored and treasured by others have been worth telling about. Those moments have been worth the risk to press forward in the realm of trust. I want to try to give you some ideas of why this is…for me, anyway.

Trust lets me be loved.

When I do not trust, I put on a mask. I hide myself from others. The most they get is what I want them to see, and I do not want them to see the real me. Therefore, when I do not trust, there is no way I receive any true love from anyone. This does not mean others do not love me. They may love me deeply. However, my mask and other methods of self-protection block any love offered to me. I do not get to experience it. The best I get is for others to like my performance (my mask). Many times it winds up with me pushing others away (rejecting them before the perceived rejection I think they will offer me if I let them see the real me).

Trust helps me grow and mature.

As I let others into my life, they get to see me. They get to see my true struggles. They get to share in that with me. They get to walk alongside me. As they love me in those ways, they also get permission to speak to me about those things. These moments help me to see things I cannot see myself. Everyone needs a mirror to see what’s really going on with themselves. Trusting others does something very similar.

Trust protects me.

Self-protection cannot be relied upon for lasting security. It may feel good, especially when we are fearful of being hurt. However, it is a lie that we can protect ourselves in this life. We need others. We are built for relationships, and part of that is needing the protection we can offer each other. As I mentioned before, we need mirrors to see what’s going on with ourselves. We may have something deadly going on that, without someone lovingly pointing it out, would go unnoticed to the point that it really hurts us and others around us. It may be the way we speak to those who work under us, how we handle our child’s discipline, or the way we neglect our spouse’s needs. Trust opens up the door for us to be enlightened to how we are affecting others around us and ourselves.

Trust is one of the most important things in our lives.

God has been very clear about trust. Above all else, He wants us to trust Him. He wants us to believe Him. He has demonstrated his love for us in such magnificent ways in order to win our trust. When we don’t trust Him, we lack the truth and we lack the ability to be loved and to love others. Without trust, we are lost. Faith (trust) is a gateway to experiencing His grace. When we fail in trusting Him, we will fail in trusting others, and vice versa. Our trusting of people and God go hand-in-hand. We cannot even trust who we really are outside of trusting who He says He is. Did you get that? Add that to the list of what trust does. Trust allows us to see and experience who we really are. That is something self-protection and mask-wearing can never do.

-Neil

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