We’re not perfect. And our sins are prone to cause much heartache and grief in our relationships, just as the sins of others can leave us with many wounds as well. But we get stuck when this becomes a mutual distrust in each other – always suspicious that the other is out to cause us harm.
Of course, it’s only natural to protect ourselves after we’ve been harmed. And certainly there’s wisdom in not letting ourselves be repeatedly hurt in the same way over and over again.
But wise protection and boundaries are different from developing a heart of suspicion.
With a heart of suspicion, everything the other does is automatically questioned and assumed to be motivated by ill will. And naturally this doesn’t create an atmosphere for open and honest sharing. We keep each other at arm’s length to protect ourselves. And this limits the depth and quality of our relationship with each other.
We often don’t realize it’s our mutual suspicion that continues to fuel the distrust between us. The more we don’t trust the more we’re giving others reason not to trust us as well. And it becomes a moot point of who started it first when we both now continue this cycle of suspicion.
We break the cycle when one of us decides to take even a tiny step forward to rebuilding trust.
While tiny, it remains a courageous first step as it comes with no guarantees. The other might continue to blame us and seek to take advantage of our vulnerability.
But if someone has to make a unilateral move toward peace, why not let it be us? Is this not how Christ demonstrated his love toward us while we were still sinners?
To be sure, the risk remains. But as we live by faith and learn to trust God’s power at work in us we can trust that our efforts will not be wasted.
In the end, it’s your move. You can keep waiting on the other to change. Or you can do your part to overcome mutual suspicion by taking that first small, yet profound step of faith toward love, hope, and peace once again.