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Monday, March 8, 2010

When Someone Won't Trust You

We are all sinners who come to our God who forgives. We receive forgiveness from Him. Others will forgive us too if they understand the forgiveness given to them. But forgiveness is not the same as trust. After we have received forgiveness we will have to earn their trust again.

Many people try to say that they have not been forgiven if they are not instantly trusted after they have asked for forgiveness. This is not the case. Forgiveness is a gift. Trust is earned. It takes a special effort to earn trust after it has been lost. Many times people say they haven't been forgiven when trust, not forgiveness, is really the issue. Equating the two will leave you frustrated. People with whom you have lost trust have every right to withhold their trust.

The first step in earning trust is to admit your fault. You lost this person's trust. Ask if you can earn it back. You are not asking for a gift; you are applying for a job. The answer may not be favorable. It may be tentative or even hopeful. He or she may want to trust you. He or she may want things back to where they were before you lost his or her trust. Yet, this person will know that time will tell. Re-earning trust is a long uphill journey.

Remember that you are the one who must earn the trust. You shouldn't expect the one you hurt to make leaps of faith. He or she may have suspicions that you won't be faithful. He or she may still believe you are unfaithful. You must go overboard to prove your faithfulness.

You have no right to become the offended party when you are asked about your faithfulness. You caused the problem in the first place. When asked, you must prove you have been faithful. Living without having to prove your faithfulness is something you lost when you were unfaithful. You may feel that the offended party is bringing up your sinfulness again when he or she questions where you have been or what you have been doing but he or she is really trying to establish your faithfulness (or the lack thereof).

The commitment to be faithful needs to be made often. It needs to be made when you don't want to. It needs to be made when you are questioned. It needs to be made without question. Each action needs to be examined before it is committed. The question must be, "Will what I am doing appear to establish or destroy my faithfulness?" Obviously, you must avoid any appearance of evil.

You will need God's strength and a commitment to Him to establish trust with someone with whom it has been violated. Your commitment here will give you strength and understanding when the person who has not given you trust is acting unreasonable. Trust involves emotions. Emotions are not always reasonable. Emotions may come from the fear of the renewed pain of being hurt again.

Set out on your journey to win trust. Do not settle for something less. Define what trust will mean. It may mean that you no longer have to explain where you have been. It may be that you are trusted with the credit card again. It may mean that you are not under an investigation when you can't be reached on your cell phone. It may mean all of the above.

Make a point of never losing that trust again. We all have to forgive and be forgiven every day. Ask for forgiveness for small transgressions so that you are not admitting to big ones later. Hold trust as something very precious. Never, never, never lose it again.

Simon Peter lost Jesus' trust when he denied that he knew Jesus. Peter hurt the One he said he would always stand up for. Later, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. Peter makes a commitment which is often missed when speaking in English. He used two different words for know when asked if he loved Jesus.

He says to Jesus, "Lord you know (a knowledge that is given without experiencing that knowledge. I know George Washington was the first American president without having seen him or living during the time he was president.) all things. You know (a knowledge that will come from experience. You will be able to watch and see that I love you.) that I love you."

The latter is the commitment you must make to the one with whom you are trying to re-earn trust. You re-earn trust through experience.

John 21:17(c) (NASB)
Lord, you know all things; You know that I love You.


Doug said...

but doesn't love believe all things? 1 cor 13. what does it mean? what about grace when someone is trying?

Prentis McGoldrick said...

What does that really mean? It doesn't mean that you give trust without evidence. It means that you believe that trust can be given. It means that you give another chance. It means that you believe in redemption. It means that you take on a characteristic of God in love. You know that it is possible for this person to be saved. However, unlike God, you don't know if the other person will ever be saved. You believe in a God who changes people. The world does not give people another chance. However, that other chance is contingent on what they do. Love gives you another chance to earn trust.

Epiphany Filled said...

This is an old post but it has helped me more than you know. Trust is a serious thing and when it is given, it can't be violated. I believe the verse that says that Christ was tempted in all things because he even went through issues with relationships (friendships). Trust is not given, it is earned.