1 Corinthians 13:6-7, “6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Many of us can relate to being hurt and disappointed in life because the people we trusted let us down. As a pastor I have to work extra hard at showing myself trustworthy because many people have been let down by those they looked up to (i.e, “parents, pastors, teachers,” etc.). Sadly, in my experience one of the most difficult things to help people through is regaining trust with those who have broken it. The closer the relationship is in a person’s life, the more pain they experience when their trust is shattered.
On one hand, it’s a fact of life that people will let us down. Even some people will break our hearts because we trusted them too much. However, God doesn’t want us to go through life with a bitter heart towards people. We shouldn’t allow the mistakes of others to impact our new relationships. We must be willing to forgive those who truly repent and desire to still be in our lives (Matthew 18:21-22).
On the other hand, we shouldn’t become people’s doormats by allowing them to hurt us in the same ways over and over again. There are two sides to the coin of trust. The first side is to forgive and be willing to trust people. The other side of the coin is to find the right people to trust in the right places in our lives. In today’s passage Paul reminds us that if we’re going to love people, we must learn to trust them.
For example, I would not have married Nancy unless I trusted her. I had been cheated on in a previous relationship but I had to learn to start over and let Nancy build trust without any hindrances from my past. At the same time, if she decided to start cheating on me now, I don’t have to stick around. I am free to hand her over to her sin and give her the gift of goodbye (1 Corinthians 7:15). But aside from the worse case scenario of adultery, we’ve both had to learn to forgive each other of smaller offenses and sins. We don’t let our minor issues tear apart the “trust” foundation of our marriage.
Trust should be slow to give and quick to lose. We should neither be naïve or cynical, but rather we should be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.
Consider work relationships. You may have an employee that sometimes messes up but they are quick to apologize and then do their best to learn and not repeat the same mistakes. In that case, it might be good to keep forgiving them and helping them to develop their skills. However, if they steal or keep breaking their word that would be a good sign that they need to be fired to learn a lesson. You can give them parting advice so that they will hopefully do better on their next job.
We should learn how to forgive those who let us down and know when the right time is to give someone the gift of good-bye. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” So whether we move with or move away from people, we must always do so with God’s wisdom and love. In other words, don’t let what people have done make you give up on finding trustworthy friends in life. They’re out there- you just need to be patient and find them.
Do you struggle with trusting people? If so, pray this out loud, “Father, I ask you to forgive me for not loving people like you do. Help me to trust the right people in the right places in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Do you struggle with trusting people?
- Repent if you have allowed past hurts to scar your heart and make you untrusting.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to give you trust for others. Isaac Watts wrote, “Learning to trustis one of life’s most difficult tasks.”
- Be led of the Holy Spirit to trust people in the right ways and in the right places of your life.
One Year Reading Plan
Jeremiah 44:24-47:7, 2 Timothy 2:22-3:17, Psalm 94:1-23, & Proverbs 26:6-8. Click here to read online.