Basic trust is the foundation for every healthy relationship. But this trust has multiple levels and we must often learn to develop a deeper trust as we navigate the ups and downs of our relationships.
For instance, ideally, we’re able to trust the very words and actions of others. We believe them when they speak and trust they’re not intentionally trying to be deceptive or keep things from us.
But in many ways this is simply a surface trust. And while important and should not be neglected, a deeper trust goes to one’s heart and not just their words and actions.
Of course, our actions are often a reflection of our true heart, but this is not always the case.
For example, when our kid steals a cookie from the cookie jar and lies about it, this is best seen as a sin of immaturity and not one of willfully evil or malicious intent. The action is still not okay, but we see him with eyes of compassion and trust that his heart still wants to be good and that this was just a moment of weakness.
And this is often the best approach with many others as well. Without excusing their behaviors or denying the consequences of their choices, we can still trust that their heart is good and not let momentary weaknesses be the defining feature of their true heart.
An additional step is remembering to anchor our trust ultimately in God. As such, it matters little how trustworthy the other person actually is. Certainly, we would still want to be wise in our interactions. But ultimately we can still love freely and fully because of our security in God. And while we still hold them accountable, how we show up in the relationship is no longer dependent on their trustworthiness, but rather on trusting God and who he has called us to be.
In the end, practice trust. But take your trust beyond the surface issues and into the deeper heart of the other, while ultimately letting it rest in God himself.