Regaining Trust

All the phone-hacking stuff makes it hard to trust anyone! However, trust is a vital part of being mentally healthy. Here are ten things it is helpful to know about trust. Do add your suggestions too using the comment button at the bottom.
  1. Trust is earned and not given or commanded. You cannot tell someone to just trust you and expect a full response just because you say so. This will be especially true if the person has once had their trust abused.
  2. Learning to trust involves time and experiences of trust being upheld. The Holy Spirit may be able to assist our desire and ability to trust, but it still has to be earned.
  3. God knows that we need accumulated evidence for us to be able to trust Him. This is one reason why often in the Bible He is introduced as 'The God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob who redeemed his people from slavery in Israel [or versions of this]. Three generations of trust, one awesome and irrefutable fact.
  4. Complete trust is not always possible, if a person has been very badly let down. It may be necessary to settle for the moment on partial trust, with one part of the trust being a 'trust' that this will improve with time - maybe many years.
  5. Trust is not the opposite of doubt. It is possible to have full trust and faith and yet still to have aspects of doubt. Somethings are just not 100% certain and doubt can even enhance faith. Trust and Faith impliy that you are choosing to believe without rock hard evidence and without brainwashing.
  6. Trusting again takes time. The Lord's prayer says 'forgive others AS you are yourself forgiven' - and AS can be a very big word.
  7. Trust can be consciously built up in a gradual manner, by initially taking small risks and then gradually increasing the risk and vulnerability. It does not just 'happen' but it can be grown.
  8. Trust is two-way. It is unlikely you will trust someone 100% if they do not have any trust in you. It is like a relationships. Blind trust is not really trust. Trust will 'rust' and decay over time. Like any relationship it needs to be worked at. If you are not building trust, it may be slipping away.
  9. Trust is in our nature - we were made to be vulnerable. Never trusting has consequences, especially for our mental health. Trusting can involve taking a risk, but usually results in relief.
  10. Trust can be misplaced and some people seem to see a lot of this, with successive betrayals. There are people to avoid, to be sure, but most people are trustworthy and the risk is worth it. Be careful who you trust, but do look around for the safer places.
I trust that this has been helpful to read.
Rob Waller, 20/07/2011