Why is it that, it is always the person who is messing around or plans to do so, who says, “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you trust me?”
Well, frankly, if I can’t even trust myself, why would I trust you? You are the runner-up “chief of sinners” right after me.
I, however, am not asking anyone to trust me. I am asking them to trust the extent to which they see God working in me.
TRUST: GIVING THE OTHER PERSON EVIDENCE THAT SUPPORTS THEIR TAKING A RISK ON RELATIONSHIP WITH ME.
If, “trust me, I’ll be good” is evidence of the lack of humility, evidence that they do not understand what it takes to be a reasonable risk in a relationship; then what would be a healthy view of trusting and risk taking?
Well, let’s go to a truly trustworthy person, the repentant prodigal son. whom the Holy Spirit taught to say:
1.”I have sinned against God (by my attitude of ———-.”For example, greed , bitterness, judgementality, control, comparison, works etc.)
By identifying the inner problem they are a much better risk. Godly people joyfully admit lack of wisdom and tendency to mess up; then ask God for wisdom and watch for the events he brings into their life to teach.
Too many of us apologize for the surface behavior only to do another offensive behavior driven by the same inner problem.
2.”My inner problems have caused me to let you down, hurt you, say painful things, be a bad example” etc.
Too many people are vague, “Sorry for whatever you think I did.” How on earth do they think that they will be able to avoid repeating what they can’t even identify?
3. I can only try to put myself in your shoes, but my actions must have caused you to feel ——hurt, abandoned, scared, worth less, alone etc.
Too many people focus on the surface losses and even minimize that. But they do not ponder the inner cost to the other person, so wind up with less hatred of sin, less appreciation of the difficulty of taking a risk on them.
4. If I were in your shoes I would be anxious about taking a risk on relationship with me.
Too many people try to force relationship by saying, “You should forgive me because: you are not so great yourself, after all you made me do it, and really you owe me one, you have hurt me too” etc.
5.I need to grow and do better whether you take a risk on me or not so I want you to know that I am committed to the following accountability, counsel and support:—.
Too many people suggest that they can change by sheer willpower. “I promise to be good.”
6. If I could make amends in the following way I would be so grateful.”
I recall one man whom we took into our house as a homeless Christian brother. He repaid our kindness by stealing our sewing machine and pawning it for nothing. He called us a year later asking for forgiveness, but never offered to make payments on a new machine. He was still not trustworthy. God always leads us to make amends.
7.Maybe we could start to rebuild with the following baby step and if it goes well then take bigger steps.
Too many people want all limits to be removed and to “Just trust me” rather than have to earn each greater and more risky step in involvement.
8. If you would forgive me and take a risk on relationship with me, I’d be so grateful, but if not I intend to keep learning and growing.
Too many people imply that if the limits are not dropped they will just give up and that the only reason they tried to change was to avoid consequences. Such a person is not to be trusted, as they would have failed even if you had gone along with their, “change”.
Oh, it is OK to be involved with untrustworthy people, just don’t let your guard down or be surprised if they backslide. Firemen go into untrustworthy burning buildings but wear fire protection and get out of the way of collapse.
If a person seems to be walking with God then it is reasonable to take small risks and build further relationship based on demonstrated responsible actions. If they don’t like this then they are not trustworthy.
It is also OK to get a neutral third party to help you know when to take new steps of relationship, because you may be too “nice” and drop your guard too easily only to be burned again. (I am talking to myself here because I am far too trusting)