Where Should You Place Your Trust?

September 23, 2014

TrustAnalyzing Trust

Where do you place your trust? Friends? Family? Spouse? Parents? Teachers? Doctors? Pastors? Authors? Children? Finances? Abilities? Talents? News? Television?

To some degree, every object of trust breaks trust at some point. We all know the sting of broken trust. If we’re completely honest, we all must admit to being the source of that sting at times too.

Where you place your trust and the level of trust you extend to another depends greatly on your view of their overall trustworthiness, dependability and reliability. How much you trust also depends upon your overall ability to trust in general. In other words, trust exists specific to the trustworthiness of the person or thing being trusted, but it also exists based on your overall life experience with trust as well as on your individual expectations for trust.

For example, I trust my husband more than any other person because our shared experiences over the past 29 years prove his overall trustworthiness. Doesn’t mean he’s never let me down, but it does mean his life speaks to a solid character deserving of trust.

On the other hand, broken trust with other people surprised me enough times over the years to the point of lowering my expectation for trustworthiness in general. People I thought I knew were not who I thought they were. Apparent character turned out not to be false. And, spoken values ended up as dust in the whirlwind of busyness and overload.

So, while my overall trust of my husband still stands strong and gives hope that trustworthiness still exists in people, my overall trust of people in general exists weaker today than it did five years ago.

Choosing Obedience Over Feelings

Today, I stand questioning the trustworthiness of people in general. Befuddled by what seems to be an epidemic gap between the private self and the public self in way too many individuals, I expect the appearance of character to no longer match reality and am pleasantly surprised when it does.

My reaction to these feelings involves wanting to live an introverted life, a natural bent for me anyway. But even more than what seems natural, I find myself drawn away from connecting and gravitating toward keeping people at a safe distance emotionally.

Yet, a pull deep within me keeps me from completely withdrawing. It keeps the desire for connection alive even at the risk of hurt caused by broken trust. That inclination involves the Holy Spirit’s work within me creating a desire to please God and do His will regardless of my feelings.

Scripture says to love others. It says to to connect and encourage and admonish and give advice and get advice. So, withdrawing goes against God’s desires. I admit to often being at odds with Scripture’s directives regarding connection. My desire to lessen the sting of broken trust rides high in my awareness, and I often given in to it.

The sting of broken trust leads me to pull against what Scripture says about loving others.

Since what I’m feeling does not match with what I know of God’s Word, I must analyze the disconnect and better align my thoughts and feelings with God’s Word.

With that realization, let’s consider what God says about trust.

What God Says About Trust

Scripture clearly tells us where NOT TO place your trust:

  • Weapons (Psalm 44:6) — This gets at the idea of our ability to defend ourselves.
  • Wealth (Psalm 49:6, 7) — A means for sharing blessing not an object of trust.
  • Leaders (Psalm 146:3) — Leaders often make mistakes and fail to meet our expectations.
  • Man (Jeremiah 17:5) — Placing people as the source of trust brings curse, not blessing.
  • Works (Jeremiah 48:7) — Trusting in skills and abilities leads to captivity; works are never enough.
  • Righteousness (Ezekiel 33:13) — We simply don’t possess the ability to obtain righteousness, to do enough to be completely trustworthy, on our own.

Scripture helped me understand the hurt caused by broken trust came because I expected complete trustworthiness from people and things unable to deliver it.

Scripture also clearly tells us where TO place your trust:

  • God’s Name (Psalm 33:21) — His name reflects His attributes and His character. God always holds true to His character.
  • God’s Word (Psalm 119:42) — Scripture provides the answers needed for every struggle of life.
  • Christ (Matthew 12:17-21) — The hope of all the world rests securely on the perfectly trustworthy shoulders of Jesus.

We are to trust in His Word, in who He says He is and with hope in the death-conquering power of Christ. My trust should belong nowhere else. And as is the abundant nature of God, He also gives benefits of trusting Him.

Place Your Trust in God

Trust blessings

When reading this list of benefits of trusting in God alone, I wonder try to trust or have confidence in anyone or anything else.

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24 Responses to “Where Should You Place Your Trust?”

  1. Chris Says:

    I recently had an old friend from middle school/high school years "defriend" me because of a silly disagreement his wife started with my wife on Facebook over something to do with parenting. I was not involved whatsoever in the conversation, but he did not even speak to me about the issue before throwing away any remaining friendship he had with me. This bothered me for a couple of days because we used to be really good friends about 15 years ago until time and distance caused us to grow apart.

    I say all of this because this was someone I trusted would be a friend for life, yet he let me down. People we least expect will often hurt us the most.

    Hence, I try to live out of two principles:
    1. Hold no expectations over anyone. Obviously, this is extremely difficult, but the fewer expectations we hold, the less we feel the need to be in "control."
    2. Offer grace. We have no idea what others are going through, and we all mess up. This doesn't mean we suddenly trust everyone and get close to those who have hurt us, but it does mean that in our own spirits, we hold no grudges.
    My recent post How the Stories We Tell Ourselves Shape Our Lives

    • Kari Scare Says:

      It's tough to admit that our expectations often lead to broken trust, isn't it? It's not that we should ever have them, but we do need to adjust them from time to time based on the person and even the situation at the time. And grace is essential. We offer it because we've received it so often, but it's still not easy. But as we learn to trust only in God and to offer grace when others break trust, we'll find that we have developed broad shoulders that allows us to maintain relationships even after trust was broken. The Bible does say to work for peace as much as it's up to you, right? And I think this is a big part in doing that… to not let trust derail having relationships even when it's broken.

  2. coachmbrown Says:

    Trust in God first and foremost. Even Jesus dis not trust men because he knew their hearts. Therefore, it is clear, the hearts of men and women can let us down, but the will of God never will. I have been blessed far more through the people in my life, but I have my own times when a handful greatly disappointed me and even turned against me. However, when we place out trust in God and His will, then we should discover there is hope found through tragedy and trials.

    Our perseverance will discover in life that God's providence is directing our journey in life to reveal His divine plans and purposes. Nothing deters God from fulfilling his will, and in that we can trust!

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Well said, Coach. And knowing nothing deters the will of God ultimately from being fulfilled, we can move fully into relationships knowing we'll be hurt by broken trust.

  3. coachmbrown Says:

    "We will KNOW we'll be hurt" – I believe we should not be surprised if we do get disappointed or even hurt, but to enter a relationship with a fatalist mindset will keep us from enjoying the relationships that God desires for us to grow and bear fruit through. Not ALL relationships are destined to a fatal, hurtful path. Keep your heart guarded but not locked and sealed because you fear the hurt that will come.

    Remember we are to love others as we want to be loved – would you want everyone to keep you at arms length because they know you will certainly fail them?

    Trust God's plan for us and those he places before us along the way. Some will be stumbling blocks and most will be stepping stones along the way, but either way God's good will is at work.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      I did not mean to sound "fatalist" in any way. What I meant is that I know every relationship this side of heaven is imperfect and that I will suffer disappointments in them. But knowing that won't stop me from having them. I am determined to move into relationships as God directs and to be in them fully even through disappointments and hurts. I meant it more as a statement of determining to go through good and bad with people and to not sever the relationship when bad happens. It's like in a marriage saying "for better or for worse" because you know there will be "worse" times at some point. I just meant that I wanted to say out front that tough times won't stop me from having relationships even though that's what my feelings might say. Instead, I go into them knowing God has me safe and secure. Sorry for not saying that so well before.

  4. jason1scott Says:

    Kari, I think you're illustrating here exactly what I was attempting to write about. You're not pretending or saying, "it's okay they broke trust." You're not happy and you realized it was causing a problem so you return to the Source and His word. Anyway, I haven't really evaluated my trust levels as I've been a bit on the overwhelmed side. Certainly a good idea though. Thanks again for this, Kari.
    My recent post Spoilers: Consider Yourself Warned

    • Kari Scare Says:

      You nailed it perfectly, Jason. No, it's not okay that others (or I) break trust. I'm not at all happy about it and have been truly devastated by it at times. I have a friend I'm watching go through devastation right now because of broken trust. I felt myself being pulled down because I couldn't understand why trust was being broken so much lately; there seemed to be no end. So, going to the Word had to happen; the only other option was digging a pit to hide in again, and I definitely don't want to do that again. Thanks, Jason.

  5. cycleguy Says:

    I go to Psalm 20:7- "Some trust is chariots, some trust in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." There is one constant…He is constant. I'll stake my claim there.
    My recent post Eyes2

  6. blessingcounterdeb Says:

    Kari, I do believe you wrote this just for me. It's a topic I think about often. Even as I begin to type the words rejection and betrayal my eyes fill with tears. It's been ten years and my heart still hurts. I've forgiven everyone involved. The truth . . . I still love them deeply. But trust, now that is a challenge. So thankful to know and love the God who is always faithful and trustworthy. Looking forward to the rest of this series Kari! Blessings!
    My recent post “I Do” Equals Faithfulness

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Deb, I am thankful this resonated with you. I really just spoke from my heart and shared the struggles I'm having with trust. I hate that I am less surprised by broken trust these days, but I also realize I can't focus there. I have to focus on the only source of unbroken trust – of true trustworthiness – that exists… I have to focus on God, on perfection, and not on imperfection. I pray this series helps you further work through what is clearly emotional for you. It's what I had to do for that to happen for me.

  7. Barb Says:

    Great analysis, Kari. I love your logical mind. For me the key isn't to trust in people. It's to trust God to be enough when people let me down. In a sense it's holding their love and acceptance with open hands, willing to risk rejection to love them well.
    My recent post 12 Learning to Adjust to a Different Life Than You’re Used To

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Thanks, Barb. One lesson I learned in my struggle with depression involves relying on facts over feelings. The FACT is that God is 100% trustworthy, and I can rely on that. He fully accepts me, which is what we all really want out of relationships anyway. So, knowing this, I can keep working toward trust in relationships, knowing He works for my good no matter what others do or don't do. Love does require not just risking but experiencing rejection, but it's what we're asked to do in our imperfect relationships, and we can because He loves us perfectly.

  8. Barb Says:

    Amen! And it's nice to know He works all things for our good. 🙂
    My recent post 12 Learning to Adjust to a Different Life Than You’re Used To

  9. danonleadership Says:

    We can place our trust in God because He has never failed us. God and His Word is founded on truth. When it comes to the different relationships we have (Besides with God) the trust level can be different. I trust my wife more than a close friend and a co-worker over one of a client. Though trust levels can be high, we are human and make mistakes that can fracture trust, which can be rebuilt. But we don't have to worry about that with God:)

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