What exactly is trust? Merriam Webster defines it as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone. ‘I trust that my man would never cheat on me’. That is an example of trust. However when trust is broken, it is quite hard for human beings to rebuild it. It sometimes happens and sometimes it does not; when trust however is being rebuilt after being broken, it can take years.
Now that is often the point of view of the person doing the trusting.
When you are the one who has broken a trust, it is a lot harder. Especially if the person who was hurt is special to your heart. While trying to rebuild trust, you often wonder how long it will take. What length you will have to go to regain trust. If you will ever regain that trust. If you will ever be forgiven.
Forgiveness. When the adulterous woman was brought before a great Man to be killed, He asked her accusers, “he who has no sin to cast a stone”. They all went away. Can we apply this to today? I know some sins are so grievous, but because you sin different than I do does not mean that you are forgivable and I am not. Why should a man be forgiven for adultery and not a woman? Why should a man be forgiven for theft and not murder? Yes, in some way the latter are somewhat bigger sins to the victims that the former, but sin is sin. For people who believe in the true way to God, all sins are equal and we should be able to forgive all; Hard! I know. However, for people who say they love one another, sins should be overshadowed by that love. Love, they say covers a multitude of sins.
Fear. An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that something is likely to cause pain. An offender often is condemned by the person they have hurt. A man who loves his wife so much, cheats on her. Not because it was a mistake, but because as human being feeling that the grass was greener on the other side, he was tempted and fell. Now he is afraid of loosing his wife. Of loosing his children. Of the hurt that would be rippled across his family and her family. If only he had deeply thought about this before he planned ‘the meeting’ with his greener grass. Now fear. Not because he is a weakling but because he actually loves his family. “If he truly loves her, he won’t cheat on her”, I hear that a lot. But I also hear “you don’t know what you have till it is lost”. This goes for many a people. This is also talk for another day. But note, certain situations make people ‘forget’ how much they love their partner e.g. financial down times, childlessness, work pressures, extended family pressures, peer pressures. Keep this in mind.
I think people should trust fully. When a trust can be broken on suspicion, then it was not trust at all. When trust can be broken on hearsay, it was not trust at all. When the trusted person is caught in the act, then trust can be broken. Not compulsorily though, because I have heard of stories where forgiveness is given to the trusted person after that person was caught in the act. So even in the worst situations, an offender can still be trusted depending on the relationship between the offender and the offended.
The offender is often at the short end of the stick. However, while we want to stay upset and angry at loved ones who have broken our trust, forgiveness is necessary to move on. It is necessary to remove fear from the offender and to reassure them that life can be restarted. We are human and VERY prone to errors even when we know we are making them. The flesh is mostly weak.
I know most of this is easier said than done, especially coming from someone who has offended a lot of people. But I seek solace in the fact that I have asked for forgiveness from God and the ones I offended as well as have forgiven myself. I do not work in with the frame mind that grace will abound, but I hold on to grace to offend less.
Remember, LOVE covers a multitude of sins.