Learning To Trust

We exercise trust in every aspect of our lives. For instance, we sit on a chair and trust that it will keep us up. We trust that when we get on a plane that it will get us to our destination safely. We trust our friends with secrets. We trust our spouse with our marriage. We trust God with our lives even though we can’t see Him. Trust is the foundation of all positive healthy relationships. You can say that it is the glue that holds people together, especially during the difficult times in our lives.

Just like a shattered vase, a relationship of trust can be shattered by physical, sexual and emotional abuse. However, traumas like a car accident, severe injury or a death in the family can also undermine a person’s sense of security and trust. Criticism and condemnation wear’s a person’s soul away like sandpaper. Trust is also eroded by the absence of love and attention. Those whose trust has been shattered and eroded are desperate to find stability so they try to control their lives in any way that they can. The reason being that they feel lonely, empty and often disillusioned. There are three types of problems that can occur with someone who has lost trust.

The first one is Blind trust. They will try to control others by trying to please them, doing whatever it takes to make them happy. They don’t think about the hurt, anger, lies and manipulation and end up trusting untrustworthy people. Their main goal is to obtain the love they crave. Some people try to control by dominating. This is called Aggressive distrust. They cover their insecurities by yelling, cursing and blaming. They also use their charm to get what they want. The third one is Passive distrust, this is where someone tries to avoid being hurt by keeping their distance from people. They give up on relationships because it is too painful and too hopeless to even relate to others.

The good news is that people with a painful past can learn to trust again. This is done by learning perceptive trust. Know that not everyone is trustworthy and that it must be earned by consistent, honorable and ethical behavior. The harsh reality is that often people we love will let us down. Know that God never will. So how do we learn to trust with perception? We have to be honest about the pain of our past. Repentance is a vital part of our lives in Christ and it involves being honest about wrong perceptions and destructive behaviors. Repentance enables us to choose what is good and right.

Those who have blind trust need to be more cautious in relationships and not trust so quickly and completely. Those with aggressive distrust need to be quiet and calm, encouraging and not intimidating. Finally those with passive distrust need to take steps to be more open and vulnerable. To learn to trust you must absorb the scriptures with an attitude of commitment and prayer. Search the passages that are particularly meaningful and then memorize them. Remember God is and will always be true to His word. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” {Proverbs 3:5-6} With the proper foundation we can endure almost anything. Without out it every interaction and every decision is a threat.


Paula W. Thomas, BMHC

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