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 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 to be false, and spoken values ended up as dust in the whirlwind of busyness and overload.
Choosing Obedience Over Feelings
Today, I often question the trustworthiness of people. 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. Even more than what seems natural, I find myself drawn away from connecting and gravitating toward keeping people at a safe distance emotionally simply because I don’t trust them.
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 connect and encourage and admonish and give advice and get advice.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
“So resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brothers and sisters who are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:9)
So, withdrawing goes against God’s desires. I admit to often being at odds with the Bible’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.
What God Says About Trust
Scripture clearly tells us where not to place our 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 our 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. As is the abundant nature of God, he also gives benefits of trusting Him.
- Joy (Psalm 5:11)
- Deliverance (Psalm 22:4-5)
- Triumph and protection (Psalm 25:1-3)
- Physical life (Psalm 25:20; Jeremiah 39:18)
- Freedom from fear (Psalm 27:1)
- God’s goodness (Psalm 31:19-24)
- Mercy (Psalm 32:10)
- Provision and security (Psalm 37:3-5)
- Blessedness (Psalm 40:4)
- Safety (Psalm 56:5-11)
- Usefulness (Psalm 73:28)
- Guidance (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Prosperity (Proverbs 28:25)
- Peace (Isaiah 26:3-4; Romans 15:13)
- Strength (Isaiah 30:15)
- Inheritance (Isaiah 57:13)
When reading this list of benefits of trusting in God alone, I wonder try to trust or have confidence in anyone or anything else.