Friday, August 27, 2010

To Trust or Not to Trust - That is the Question

Trust.  This thing I've been learning.  What does it mean to trust someone?  That they won't fail us?  That we can count on them?  That we know their heart and it is good?  Do we ever know these things?  Can we ever completely trust people?  Won't it be that they are human and will fail?  So how can we ever trust?  Or is it simply enough to say that we know someone's heart and that they do not intend harm?  But that is a little of an unrealistic attitude, denying pain only because there was no intent to harm.

I've been punched in the chest when I walked up behind someone who, unknown to me, was just throwing out his fists in an effort to stretch his shoulders.  There was absolutely no harm intended at all.  Yet it knocked the breath out of me and I collapsed.  There are families whose children were run over as a parent backed out of a driveway.  No evil was ever intended - the thought of hurting their child would have nauseated them.  But they buried their dear child.  So it is foolishness to only look at intent and ignore the result.  Pain hurts - intended or not.

So how do we trust?  An interesting question for me right now.  Does this change in time?  I've struggled with trust most of my life from the time as a young child when I found out the world is not a beautiful place.  How do we trust people?  Do any of you have anyone who you trust completely who has never disappointed you and never hurt you?  Perhaps you do, but I would highly doubt it.

So do we bother to trust at all or do we live as suspicious cynics?

Over the years in the learning to trust, I've grown a little - enough to be unsatisfied with the life of the suspicious cynic.  But I've learned another painful lesson, too - the more you trust someone, the greater the ability you give them to hurt you.  So why do we even trust?  It obviously does not seem like a logical decision at all - trust people who will fail and that very trust enabling that very failure to cause deeper pain?

So why trust?

If a stranger tells me they don't like me and I am a burden, it stings; but I walk away, shrug, and brush it off.  If one close to me says these same words, it knocks the breath out of me and I collapse.  It leaves a huge ugly bruise which aches long past the event.  Other words, other breaking of trust can leave permanent scarring.

So why do we even bother to trust?

Why?  I think it is because we are created in the image of the God who is calling us back more and more to be transformed into His likeness.  God who trusted Himself to us - even knowing that we would kill Him... that even after that we would not always count His sacrifice as valuable.  Yet, He opened himself to us - entrusting Himself.  And He calls us to follow.  Also because God is light - He is about transparency and openness, the very foundation of trust.  So we work towards trust because we work towards the image of God.

Without trust, we will never get to know each other, to really be able to encourage, to love, to care for each other.  So trust is needed.

Yet it comes back to the beginning.  Trust opens us up deeper to people who will certainly hurt us and that hurt will be deeper because of that very trust we offered.

So how do we trust then?  What do we base that trust on?  Definitely not on any guarantee against pain.  On the contrary, it seems to be in the face of a guarantee of pain.

1 comment:

Angela said...

This was good. I needed this!