Learning to Trust

If your past is one of hurt, you may find it hard to just “trust” people.

Let’s take an example. A woman has been raped by a man she was hoping to develop a relationship with. Now, because of her past experience, she finds it hard to develop relationships with men.

A man has been betrayed by a woman he loved, who ran off with his best friend. Now he finds it hard to develop relationships with women. Because of his experience, he is afraid that the same thing might happen to him again.

A little boy or little girl was “let down” by his or her daddy (or mommy) repeatedly. Now, he finds it hard to trust authority figures. He may even be “grown up” at this point in time, and he still finds it “hard” to trust authority figures. He has been hurt so many times, and, because of his past, he is afraid that the same type of thing will happen to him again if he decides to “trust.”

These are very real scenarios, and probably we can each identify with them to a certain extent (if not exactly). How are we to deal with these issues? How are we to begin “trusting again” so that we don’t “close up” and “close ourselves off” to developing meaningful relationships (that in themselves have the power to bring healing to our lives)?

[1] Realize that after being “burned” it is normal to feel hurt and so exercise a greater sense of prudence in developing relationships. If we have been hurt before, it is reasonable to feel this way. A person who has been “burned” on a stove naturally DOES take “more precaution” the “next time around.” So, too, is it entirely NORMAL for us to exercise a greater sense of caution in relationships after we have been “burned” in the relationship sense.

[2] Realize that even Jesus Himself was not willing to trust those that had not first demonstrated that they could be trusted. (John 2:24). Therefore, we are not to think that, just because someone wants our trust, or that someone says that we should give them our trust, that we should necessarily do so. They first must prove themselves faithful to us, before we should be expected to trust them. Jesus said, “Do not cast your pearls before swine.” (Matthew 7:6) Those that cannot be trusted should not be trusted with much.

[3] Realize that God will bring people along at the right time with whom we can trust and open up to our deepest feelings. If He has not done that already, it is because He is yearning for your undivided attention. Learn to “pour out your heart to Him.” As you do, you’ll find that He is the best Father any person could ever ask for. He will never betray you, and He will honor you. Jesus said, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” (John 12:26).

Yes, you can learn to trust again. But do it in God’s timing, and in God’s way. He will guide you.