“How can I trust you when you continue to lie to me?”
Have you ever had such a conversation? For example, the spouse, reconciling with an erring mate, wants to trust, but can s/he? Mistrust smears gray over a relationship that used to glow with cheerful color. If only you could trust and bring back the joy.
If you’ve forgiven someone, but can’t trust him or her, you’re not alone. Forgiveness and trust are separate issues.If you’ve forgiven someone, but can’t trust him or her, you’re not alone. Forgiveness and trust are separate issues. #trust Click To Tweet
Forgiveness is between us and God. The culprit doesn’t have to change for us to forgive. Trust, on the other hand, requires change (Proverb 25:19). Here are some tips to guide you.
If you weren’t already in a relationship with this person, with your current knowledge, would you trust them? Would you encourage your children to hang out with someone of their character?
Realize Some People Can’t Be Trusted
The Bible tells us to stay away from certain types of people.
- “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared” (Proverbs 22:24-25 NIV).
- “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20 NASB).
- “Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words” (Proverbs 23:9 NIV).
- “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV).
Watch for Genuine Change
Bathsheba suffered much in the months following David’s sins against her and Uriah. David fell about as low as a person “with a heart after God” can go.
Yet, when the prophet Nathan confronted David, he showed genuine repentance.
- wrote Psalms that publicly confessed his sin.
- fasted and prayed.
- didn’t blame Bathsheba for his failures or make excuses.
- didn’t repeat his sin (2 Samuel 12).
Watching David’s change restored Bathsheba’s trust in him. Like David and Bathsheba, trust blooms when the erring party returns to God and demonstrates heart change. But trust suffers as long as either party continues in willful sin.
Joseph put his brothers through a long series of tests before he opened himself to them. He didn’t assume time or hardship had transformed them (Genesis 42-45).
His brothers showed genuine heart change when they confessed their sin and demonstrated sorrow for what they had done. This was not a show to impress Joseph. They didn’t know he understood what they were saying since he spoke through a translator. Judah went so for as to offer his life in exchange for his brother Benjamin’s.
Genuine change will become evident. Watch and wait. And don’t give them a checklist to follow to earn your good graces. You want to see what’s in their hearts.
Recognize Your Limits
God uses the process of mending to refine us. He teaches us to trust Him and His timing. Instead of rushing to trust your betrayer, trust Jesus. Let Him chisel out Christ’s character in you.
If you feel led to approach the one who harmed you, express your feelings to God first. Receive His comfort and perspective. Sometimes, after we forgive the person and receive God’s perspective, we no longer need to approach them.
Never approach the offender to punish him. Don’t say, “I forgive you for…” and name the offenses. Passive-aggressive anger shows you haven’t forgiven.
Give up trying to make the person safe. We cannot force people to embrace our viewpoint or desire a healthy relationship with us.
The quality of our lives comes from our relationship with Jesus, not from the person who wronged us (John 10:10). If this person continues in sin and blame, let them go. It’s not time to reconcile.The quality of our lives comes from our relationship with Jesus, not from the person who wronged us (John 10:10). If this person continues in sin and blame, let them go. It’s not time to reconcile. #reconciliation Click To Tweet
Relationships are sweeter with trust. But some people can’t be trusted. Jesus trusted His Father, not people.
But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people” (John 2:24)?
How do we build trust? Carefully, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
Sometimes I link with these great sites:
We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This doesn’t add any cost to the purchase.