Trusting people is hard for me. What about you? It’s not mainly because I believe people are so sinful they aren’t worthy of being trusted. That’s can be true sometimes. No, it has more to do with me. I don’t want to trust them. Trust means I need to be close, vulnerable, intimate. It’s easier to keep my distance.
What’s the solution?
As friendship increases, so does trust. I’ll represent this reality with a mind-blowing, universe-altering, life-trajectory-changing graphic.
Actually, it is.
Have you ever heard someone talk—in any context—and, as you listen from afar, you sense a deep distrust of them arising inside of you? You can’t put your finger on it, but you just assume the worst about them. You’re sure that if the Human Fund were taking donations, this person would not be a recipient.
But if you’re honest, this distrust is cultivated by coddling the darkness within you.
Time goes on. You get to know them. Maybe you’re forced to at an awkward work event or social function. Or, perhaps, by the grace of God, you initiate a conversation with them. (Just to gather evidence on their horrible humanity.)
Almost as quickly as you distrusted them (for absolutely no reason) you begin thinking, Shoot, you’re actually a stinkin’ great human. I think I might be able to trust you. Heck, I want to be your friend.
Am I the only one? (I didn’t think so.)
What happened here? Our hearts are melted as we begin to see them differently as a unique creation, made in the image of God, full of dignity and worth, equipped with gifts, passions, and a calling. In this, we took the first step toward friendship. And as we move closer still, we begin to let our guard down and became vulnerable. A friendship blooms and with it, so does trust.
It’s easier to keep our distance. But distance makes all it’s too easy to believe the worst and build up straw-men when conflict and crisis come. Intangibles like vision, mission, values, or strategy—as important as they are—aren’t big enough to put the pieces back together.
But friendship can. And it will. I’m learning that.