Trust is a very delicate concept; therefore I approach this with caution, yet aim to remain honest.
We have all experienced this concept growing up, having to trust an adult to look after our welfare and meet our needs accordingly. As a result, babies and young children are usually the best ambassadors of trust, as their naivety and innocence have not been exposed to the harsh reality of life yet. However, when as adults, we choose to trust another human being, the small print of life advises that we do so at our own risk. Is this because you and I are not trustworthy enough, and are certainly bound to let our fellow human being down? Do we lose our ability to be wholly dependable once we reach a certain age?
I have lived a short but eventful life so far, but if you are like me, you have been let down by your father, or mother, or siblings, boyfriends or girlfriends, in whom you trusted by default because you believed in them. For example, I trusted the one who turned out to abuse me as a child, and I think that this was probably the worst effect – finding out that he had taken advantage of my naivety and unassuming manner at the time. And as with such trust problems, in addition to no longer trusting him, I also did not trust any guy who paid me any compliments and thought they were out to do like he did – see how the snowball got bigger? The one who commits the untrustworthy act unfortunately causes all “like them” to be painted with the same brush. Despite my now total forgiveness of the abuser, (as well as no longer thinking every compliment-paying man is after something lecherous) I am mindful of the possible risk he poses, (maybe dramatically) to my yet unborn daughters – but I think that “shame on you if you fool me once; shame on me if you fool me twice”.
Although it is understandable and probably pertinent to have a “guard up” as a result of your life experiences, however it is unwise to let it dictate how you interact with others. I have had other encounters with untrustworthy people but this has not changed how I see people in general. I firmly believe in that old saying: “innocent until proven guilty”. Moreover, just because one person affected me negatively does not write off the next one automatically – how would you feel if you got roped in with someone else simply because you are of the same gender, background, race, or even family? Everyone is unique in their own right. Everyone is “innocent until proven guilty”. If we do not take this stance, imagine how much we would miss out on life because of our prejudices such as: “all men are dogs”, “women are only out to get your money”, “black people are so-and-so”, “white people are this-and-that”, and the list is endless….! Even if by some chance, we have interacted with every one of the approximate 6.8 billion people who are in the world presently, people can change and children are born daily. We could potentially miss our specially-tailored blessing since we then choose to be narrow-minded and presumptuous about people in general, because of one, or maybe even several, incidents of mistrust. If I think about it, I know someone in every possible “category” who has abused my trust and if I was to alienate everyone consequentially, I would be left with no family or friends!
Can I let you in on a secret? There is one person who is absolutely trustworthy, dependable and downright spot-on when He is needed. He does not fail, give excuses or let anyone who depends on Him down. I learnt to trust in Him at the darkest points of my life and He has come through every single time. I may get mad at Him sometimes for when others let me down – unfair, I know – but He is my one true love. I can trust Him totally, completely and with reckless abandon without doubting that He’s got my back. Sometimes, I can see the safety net He sets up for me below for when I fall down, but mostly, I have to just trust Him for all the times I can only fall backwards. He is my best friend number one, can never be replaced, grow too busy or distant for me to call on, and doesn’t get tired of hearing from me incessantly – His name is Jesus.
I have to add here, that I am not saying no-one at all is to be trusted or believed in – but not to the extent where you hang on their every word. Why? This is because despite their best intentions, human beings are unfortunately almost guaranteed to let you down whether they plan to or not. This is what makes us human – the fact that we are not limitless or have superhuman abilities in order to meet the requests or dependences made on us all of the time. I have also had my occasions where I have let others down and this was because I was unable to meet my promise or obligation for a good reason….and that is what makes me human. The lessons I have learnt for myself have a central theme – no matter how much a person would love to be a “rock” for me in my hour of need, or even I for another, there may be unforeseen situations and circumstances in our lives that may limit our ability to fulfil that word. The only One who has an unfailing record is Wonderful, the Solid Rock – His names as well – my Lord Jesus.
The Bible says that God is a shield to all who trust in Him (2Sam 22:31[NKJV]) – I have learnt to trust Him alone, so that when the arrows of the pain caused by others come towards me, His shield prevents them from affecting my spirit. This way, I don’t have to wince in pain when I face any disappointment from a fellow human being, done either maliciously or otherwise. I trust also that God will indeed use the disappointment to bring out something even better for me – so the disappointment becomes a blessing in disguise, as the popular saying goes. He also helps, saves and delivers me from the wicked (those who would take advantage or intentionally deceive me) when I trust in Him (Ps 37:40 – own emphasis [NKJV]) and blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who makes the Lord his refuge and trust (Ps 40:4 [Amplified]). When your total and absolute trust is in God, then you won’t need to form any blind opinions about anyone but accept them as they are – fallible.
So, what do you think? It’s time to re-adjust your focus as it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man (Ps 118:8 [NKJV])