trust is earned, not demanded
"Trust Me" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
(For the sake of my peace of mind and to respect my wife and family during my vacation, I'm going to stop comments on my blog posts until I return on the 18th of July. Feel free to email me and I will try to respond but it probably won't be until after my vacation. Thanks!)
If you don't trust someone, you don't trust someone. You can't make yourself trust someone. Especially if that someone has hurt you seriously or often.
Hurt happens. Lisa and I, though we are very much in love and have held our marriage together for 35 years, have occasionally hurt one another. These moments can erode trust. Then we have to build it up again. It's like doing something hurtful is a withdrawal and doing something good is a deposit. Once the withdrawals put you into overdraft, it's very difficult to regain trust again. It can be done.
But there's a deeper kind of trust. I was always challenged by that small sentence in the "love chapter", 1 Corinthians 13, that says "Love always trusts." So I always felt bad when I didn't trust someone, especially a spiritual authority figure, and I'd go against my instinct and entrust them with myself, only to have that trust violated again. Then I realized that it was only fair to me and the other person to trust them at the level they can be trusted. For example, I would never trust a toddler to drive my car. He isn't capable of handling that level of trust. It would be beyond him. It's fair to him, to me, to my car, to pedestrians and other motorists to not trust him with my car. I can trust him with a toy¬†truck, but not my car.
So when someone asks you to trust them, you have to discern if they can be trusted at that level. Can this spiritual authority be entrusted with me? Can I be vulnerable with this person? Can I trust them not to hurt me? Can I trust them with my life?
What sometimes shocks us about spiritual authority is that they are sometimes great. Maybe even most the time great. But every once in a while they really hurt people. It's not like they spiritual or sexually abuse people every hour of every day. But if you can detect a tendency, then get out!
Are you a survivor? Join us at The Lasting Supper
! I will personally welcome you and introduce you to the others.