Confidence and Trust in Relationships

ConfidenceConsistency & Trust

The more consistent a person’s attitude, actions and words, the higher level of trust and confidence I have in that relationships. When I know someone will dependably show solid character, my stress level goes down and trust goes up.

For example, I trust my steady husband more than any other person. My oldest son and a couple of my friends tie for second. Whatever these people are involved with in my life holds a great deal less stress because of their consistent character.

Of course, the reverse also holds true. The less consistent character, the lower the trust and the higher the stress. Unfortunately, several people in my life fall into various places along the spectrum of decreasing trust and increasing stress because of a lack of consistent dependability.

Of course, all of those relationships involve imperfect people that to some extent are unreliable and inconsistent. With God, though, the picture completely changes because perfection exists in a person that never, ever fails me.

PChrist the sameerfection Changes Everything

Whenever I understand more about who God is as He reveals Himself through His Holy Spirit — that He is my Lord and my God, that He is Holy and that He is my Savior — my confidence in Him automatically increases.

“I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:1-3)

The better I know Him and His ways, the more I trust Him. Bob Sorge in The Fire of Delayed Answers focuses on this idea in Chapter 14. He expresses the truth this way:

“Confidence happens when we come to understand God and His ways. When we really get to know God, confidence is automatic. If we truly come to know Him, we’ll be confident that He will be true to His person.”

Because God is who He is, I can have perfect confidence in Him. Yet, because I am who I am, I don’t.

Scripture like Isaiah 43:1-3 serve to remind me that my imperfection doesn’t limit Him. As Sorge says,

“Confidence says, ‘I know He’s working on my behalf for good.”’

And I can know this because He has done it before in my life and in the lives of countless others, and because Scripture assures me that’s who He is. That’s His character.

Confidence through StruggleFather does not change

Let’s go back to the “fire” and “rivers” in Isaiah 43:1-3 for a minute and apply how understanding and knowing God leads to automatic confidence in Him to work in my — and your — life for good today.

What would you list as your “fire” and “rivers” right now? In other words, what are the main sources of struggle and stress in your life? (Yes, you can name a specific person… I did.)

For each of the “fire” and “rivers” you listed, tell God you trust Him with them. Think of all He’s done for you and of what Scriptures says of His ways and who He is, and let this knowledge strengthen your confidence in Him to bring you through your current struggles. He did it before, and He’ll do it again because that’s who He is.

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25 Replies to “Confidence and Trust in Relationships”

  1. Great post to remind of our need to connect and invest in knowing the people in our circle of life. The better we know them and their character, the more trust we have in them. Faith is God is certainly built around the investment we put into our knowing Him as well. Amen!

  2. The closer someone is to me emotionally (not just physically), the more tempting it is to become dependent on them; then, if problems arise, if I've given in to dependence, I have set myself up for possible hurt and a shaking of confidence (never mind the stress levels).

    Good post, Kari – as usual. 🙂
    My recent post What’s Love Got To Do With It?

    1. Interesting perspective, Rick. The greater the risk, the greater the reward applies in relationships for sure. So, knowing that dependency is an issue, what steps do we take movie forward regarding managing stress in a healthy way? Something tells me you have some personal experience to draw from on this dependency issue 😉

      1. I was taught a long time ago to walk away from what we call slippery people, places, and things. Anyone, anyplace, or anything that I either used as a crutch or an excuse to get loaded was – whether I liked it or not – to be cut surgically from my life if I wanted to get clean/sober. I found I had a *lot* of dependencies other than substances, and a lot of stressors were cut the same time that I cut loose the aforementioned people, places, and things – though it would take a while to notice the stress levels having subsided because, in some cases, it was a dying to self that I had *never* experienced prior to that in any meaningful way.

        Does that help answer as to whether or not I have some experience? 😀
        My recent post What’s Love Got To Do With It?

        1. Not that I actually needed an answer, but yes it does. You should write a book about this stuff! What struck me is the realization that we have such a limited approach to addictions, as if some are okay/acceptable and some are not just because they're illegal. All are devastating on personal, spiritual & physical levels, but some are still acceptable and others not. (Caffeine and food come to mind.) Anyway, thanks for the frank and transparent answer. Always appreciated! Oh, and good to have you back and active a bit more. Missed it!

  3. Very encouraging!

    There's someone in my life love dearly but who adds a great deal of stress in my life. This person doesn't mean to, it's just part of who she is and I must accept that. I can have confidence in her to be consistent in raising my stress levels 🙂

    But your post encouraged me today to trust God to help me with her and to love her as He does- completely and without reservations.

    1. You being encouraging encourages me, TC. And, I can relate. One of my children is that in my life at times. Do you find that knowing what you can/can't expect of that person helps with appropriate confidence and kind of less stress? This is an area in which I struggle too, so maybe we can help each other learn 🙂

    2. Some are definitely worth the stress. It also takes courage and character to still love those you know bring stress into your life. I know we do this at times for the greater good.

  4. Such true words Kari when it comes to trusting. Knowledge can build or tear down our trust. Living with our divorced son these last two years gave us ample opportunity to trust God for Jared. Because he was not walking with the Lord we could not trust him in so many areas. But now that he has returned to the Father so much of what we distrusted in him has come to light by his own admission. He has ask us how did you know such and such about me and we said because God has clearly told us how a person walking in the spirit acts and clearly told us in His Word how a person walking in the flesh act. You cannot trust a person when they walk in the flesh all the time because they are only accountable to themselves and we all can be deceived. My husband and I constantly held on with sometimes bloody hands to the truth God was working to bring Jared back no matter what we viewed in his life. Rick is right on this issue of letting go of people, place that are not in ones best interest. We are watching our son do that now and every time he does you can see the stress drop off of him. Just a few simple thoughts to your post which I am going to put on my fb wall for all to read.

    My recent post Even Though

    1. What a terrific story to help illustrate my (and Rick's) points so well. Thank you for sharing not only the struggles that are past and ongoing with your son, but the victories within all of that as well. What a fantastic testimony!

  5. We all cause stress in others lives. May we love enough so that stress will be worth it. It is nice to have those that most of the time are so that they don't do things that push your stressors. It is also nice to know you are loved by the same people and they know you love them even when you each cause stress. The same people that you trust and have confidence in even if they cause stress are most often the ones that help you deal with stress in your life.

    1. Very true, Mark. And having that balance really makes the relationship rewarding, especially as you struggle through life together and refuse to give up on the relationship. This fits with everything from parenting to marriage to best friends.

  6. While reading this I thought about my work place, some people I can trust and have confidence in while others have proven that they are not trust worthy. I feel more stress (when working with the youth I do) when I'm working with those who I can't trust. When I say trust, I mean they have been with the County for so long that the are burnt out and are not able to desiccate a youth. They are more like a gas can than a fire hose:) Great post!

    1. The workplace is a terrific application for this, Dan. Great example! Also, having worked for and with government institutions (12 years), I totally get what you're talking about in this specific setting also. Enough said? Thanks!

  7. Great thoughts on confidence and stress, Kari. I like how you brought out that our imperfections make trusting perfection harder. Add the imperfection of our world and it can feel overwhelming at times, but He is faithful and gracious. Thank you, Kari.
    My recent post Light Friday Hit List

  8. I used to allow unreliable people to shake my confidence. However, now I tend to look at people through the lens of personality and relational styles. I often catch myself asking, "Would I want that person on a team with me?" If I answer "yes," then I generally see that individual as someone I can count on most of the time. If I answer "no," then I try to understand whether their unreliability is due more to personality or attitude. Either way, I try not to take it personally. It's not that I'm trying to excuse those who are unreliable, but rather to focus on those whom I can rely upon.
    My recent post Why Doing Too Much is Diminishing Your Calling

    1. Understanding personality & relational styles can be very helpful, especially when having to work alongside and partner with someone. And not taking unreliability personally is a great point. It truly is usually more about the person that it is about you anyway. I just figure they got "stuff" going on in their lives that I don't know about that is impacting their ability to e reliable. Doesn't mean we refuse to interact with the person; just means we don't rely on them. Do you think you can have a relationship with someone and not rely on them?

      1. Definitely. I have casual friends and acquaintances that I would probably not rely on, but I still enjoy interacting with them when I have the opportunity. These friends are still sources of joy in my life. Honestly, five years ago, I probably would have ditched them if they were unreliable, but God had to soften my heart and offer grace. Nonetheless, I choose to rely on my close friends who have proven themselves over time.

        1. We all have those people in our lives. My boys are realizing this too. We just talk about determining to not be that type of person and to instead be someone who is reliable and trustworthy. We all need to learn to offer grace simply because we've been given grace, and that's the example you are setting here. Keep it up!

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