Webster defines trust as “assured reliance on the character, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Let that sink in a minute. Where do your thoughts take you? Do you have an unreliable vehicle or appliance? Are there certain politicians who come to mind? More importantly, are there family relationships such as husband, wife, siblings, children, parents, or “friends” whom you doubt you can really depend on when you need help?
One of our greatest needs as human beings is to feel safe with others, to believe another person can be trusted to always want and seek what is best for us. This kind of faith or trust is the glue that makes marriages and friendships work. Trust in a parent is what helps a child feel emotionally safe and provides a character example for them to emulate.
Trust is an important quality that seems to be in short supply nowadays. For many years I’ve been hearing that people have been losing trust in government and institutions such as the church. Why have people become skeptical of many political leaders, church leaders, educational leaders, government agencies? For the same reason husbands and wives lose trust in each other. For the same reason, parents and children doubt each other. For the same reason, friendships fall apart. Our form of government, the purpose of the church, and the ideal of marriage and family are not the problem. Character is the issue. More specifically, the lack of trustworthiness is the heart of the issue.
Trust is like a delicate flower that grows only in a certain kind of environment. Take that environment away and the flower gradually shrivels up and dies. The same is true about the trust that is so vital to all our important relationships.
Here are some of the things I think help the delicate flower of trust to thrive:
- Be honest in what you say and do. Do not deliberately or carelessly mislead someone.
- Be consistent in what you say you believe and how you act.
- Own your mistakes and apologize for any wrong you do and attempt to repair the relationship.
- Do not blame others or your circumstances for your bad choices and actions.
- Respect the thoughts and feelings of others. Everyone is created in the image of God and should not be treated as a “thing” to get what you want. Follow the “golden rule.”
Perhaps there are other trust nutrients you would add to what helps your delicate flower of trust thrive. What is important to you in growing a trusting relationship? Share that with me. Thanks. Cos