So, you’ve come to realize the importance of trust in forming and maintaining quality relationships, and you’ve found the courage to try to trust again. So, what do you do next? The following three steps will help you begin the process of developing trust for others.
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Trust builds one brick at a time. It’s not safe or wise to put your full trust in anyone right away. Start small. Choose to trust a friend or co-worker in something basic. Let them show you that they are trustworthy. Jesus talked about this principle in a story from the Gospel of Matthew. There, a wealthy man entrusts his workers with money. Those who handled it well and invested wisely were rewarded with bigger and better things to invest. The same is true with trust. When you learn to trust someone in the small things, and they handle it well, it’s easier to trust them with larger things.
Evaluate and Invest
When we are afraid to trust others, it’s easy to ignore the ways that they are already being trustworthy. When you have been hurt, you become wired to more quickly notice how people let you down, and especially how people may hurt you again. Take some time and be honest about your relationships. More than likely, there are already people around you who have shown themselves to be worthy of your trust. Some people are healthier than others. When you determine who they are, choose to invest more trust in them.
Evaluate and Divest
As important as it is to be honest with yourself about the people in your life that are deserving of your trust, it’s also crucial to be honest with yourself about the people who have proven themselves untrustworthy. If people continue to lie to you or use you to make themselves feel good, it’s time to step away. Some people are a bad relational investment, and it’s not loving to continue to trust them. It’s dangerous.
Learning to trust others can be a scary experience, but God created trust to be the catalyst for growing relationships. When things get tough, stop and talk to God about what you are feeling and ask for clarity. He is on your side, and more than anyone else, He is someone you can trust.
Good luck in tomorrow’s relationships!