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November 3, 2009 / Hannah

A Study in Trust

I’ve been thinking about trust this week. The thought appeared out of the blue, and I don’t think I’d ever questioned “what is trust?” What makes us trust people? What is it that makes them trust us? Here’s what I’ve got so far. Comments are welcome. I’d love to know what makes you trust, and the way you respond when you feel trusted.

So, I think we respond to and give trust in the same way, for the same reasons. Here’s an example I heard once.

There was a group of soldiers during some war who entered a building that held a group of civilians, huddling together on the floor scared half to death. The soldiers were there to get them out, to rescue them. The people on the floor were so afraid of the soldiers, so irrational from being in trauma, that they wouldn’t budge. One soldier had an idea: he took off his helmet and laid down on the floor with the people, huddling with them, holding them. The people began to recognize him as a fellow human, and trust him enough to eventually follow him to safety.

The soldier became trustworthy as he made himself like them, they began to relate to him as another human being behind the camo and despite the gun (the weapon he carried to protect them, but a weapon others had distorted to harm them). I think one level of trust starts with our ability to relate.

I think deeper levels of trust come as we see one another becoming vulnerable. Who can be vulnerable when there is no trust? And how can we trust without glimpsing things that are real, are trustworthy because they are real?

If trust is built by being real with each other, a lack of trust must be crippling. If I do not trust you, I am not allowing you to function as you could were you operating in the freedom of trust. If I feel I am not trusted I may not be able to be as I ought.

In the same way, if I do not fully trust God, I’m not allowing Him to be in His full capacity in my life. I cannot experience all that I could were I to give that complete confidence.

Trust is learned, there are levels and you cannot (usually) begin with the last one. It is learned through relationship.

The bible uses the word trust when speaking about the heart. When Faith is spoken of it is more often in the form of action, something we exercise or use. I found that interesting… Also trust occurs almost always in the old testament and Faith almost always in the new. So, is faith more a way of life, trust a state of the heart?

Would love to hear from you, let me know what you think.


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