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Last week, we started a short series of articles about trust. I chose to write about trust because many people these days seem “trust impaired.” 

They have a problem. But that’s OK. With God’s power, a person’s choice can move anyone from trust impaired to trust repaired to trust prepared. I’ve seen it happen many times.

In our book “Learning How to Trust” (order on nationstrategy.com), noted author and counselor John Trent addresses the issue of trust. 

“For countless people, the idea of trust is a mirage. They’ve had a parent who abused them, a spouse who walked out on them, a business partner who ruined them, or a politician or a pastor who betrayed their trust. Yet, for any healthy personal or spiritual relationship to form, trust is essential, not optional.

So how can you and I learn to trust again? May I recommend this outstanding book as a tool for learning how to trust again? You’ll soon realize why trust is essential and that there really are people and a God worth trusting.” That would be nice, wouldn’t it? 

What is trust? Webster defines trust as a firm belief or confidence in the honesty, integrity, reliability or justice of another person or thing. Trust involves faith. Trust is the reliance on someone or something. Trust is confident expectation, anticipation or hope. 

Trust is the currency of all relationships. The breakdown of trust erodes the basis of all effective functioning in family, church, people or organizations. The key to understanding trust is the awareness of what or who we are putting in. Trust is the road over which everything travels. 

Trust is like an invisible rope that connects us to the object of our trust. As in people with God, a husband and wife, the media with a nation, a customer with a business, a professor with his class — all relationships of any kind, trust connects one to the other. 

If the rope is broken, the relationship gets broken. And if we are hurt deeply by the event, our ability to trust again gets broken also. In other words, adverse shaping events create lingering influences. Those influences affect our decision making dramatically in the future, usually in self-protection or aggression, making more significant problems. It also results in more trustlessness. Trust is like an eraser. It gets smaller and smaller after every shaping event. 

Here is another “aha” about the invaluable currency of trust. Our lives will only rise to the level of that in which we place our trust. Why? The rope is connecting you to that in which you place your trust. If you place your trust in a person you don’t really know very well and get married, you may be setting yourself up for trouble. 

No matter what the gender, you might end up saying to yourself, “How could I have been such a fool? How could I have trusted them when I knew they were doing pornography and they would never give me the money I needed to run the house? I borrowed from my parents to make our house payment, but I knew something was wrong. Why do I have to end up paying the price for someone else’s misdeeds?”

In a large majority of the cases, the reason all this happened is we put our trust in a person or object we hadn’t taken the time to really get to know. In our book, we call this learning to trust wisely or “intelligent trust.” This is where values come in. We can only be trustworthy to the extent that we have godly values and wisdom manifesting in our lives. That also includes the object or person we put our trust in.  

We were born with the necessity and the ability to trust. “And we have such trust through Christ toward God…” II Corinthians 3:5a.

So, we were born with trust in us, but trust needs to connect with a godly, reliable, wisdom-led object or person for a good life. Remember, we are spirit, soul and body. As a baby, we trusted in our mother figure for milk for our bodies. We trusted in our mother/father model for our soul, for nurturing and equipping. However, the main reason trust is within us is for our spirit. Spiritual health comes from trusting in God. In this life, there will be stumbling blocks and setbacks. God knows we need reliability and power that is higher than us. We will need understanding and forgiveness. Only God can do that.

We are given the gift of trust because we are created to trust. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6.

Why is learning how to trust all over again so important? If we are trust impaired because of shaping events, how can we ever trust in the Lord? If we can’t or won’t trust in the Lord, we are an accident waiting to happen again and again. Without trust, God will never make sense to us.

Next week, spend your trust currency to learn how to trust God and people all over again. Remember, trust is the key that starts our car again to break the trust barrier.