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It’s human nature to protect ourselves from future harm whenever we can. And this makes it difficult to trust others after we’ve been harmed and we know what they’re capable of doing. But while we must be ever vigilant to protect our hearts, bodies, and spirits, relational depth and connection requires us to practice courageous trust.

On the one hand, we’re desperate for relational connection, but we don’t want to get hurt. And so, we settle for casual and shallow relationships that don’t require much vulnerability.

Whether in marriage or friendship or our small group at church, we’re prone to keep others at a distance because we’re not sure if they will still love us if they saw who we really were backstage.

And, to be fair, some people are not safe and it’s wise to guard ourselves against them. But often the issue is rooted in our own fear and willingness to trust. And at some level this becomes an act of faith on our part.

While holding others accountable and seeking supporting evidence whenever possible, at some point we must simply have the courage to practice trusting again. And no amount of professional opinions, polygraphs, or even time will change the inner heart work required of us here. Of course, all these things can be helpful, but there’s no guarantee we won’t be hurt again.

Courageous trust is not blind nor is it merely wishful thinking. Rather it’s choosing to trust in a deeper goodness even knowing we might be hurt again along the way. It’s choosing to believe that most people are not out to get us, and that God’s grace toward us is sufficient either way.

We allow suspicion, distrust, and division to dominate our lives without this willingness to practice a deeper trust.

In the end, guard your heart and protect yourself from future harm. But remember to practice a courageous trust to discover the relational depth, connection, and impact you desire.

Photo by Josue Michel on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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