Trust is fundamental to every great relationship. Trust issues affect everyone and its effects, sometimes, could lead to death. Many people have lost friends, loved ones, partners, spouse, etc because they could not live up to expectation. Stephen M.R. Covey stated in his book, The Speed of Trust, that “Relationships of all kinds are built on and sustained by Trust. They can be broken and destroyed by lack of trust. Try to imagine any meaningful relationship without trust. In fact, low trust is the very definition of a bad relationship.”
Trust issues affect everyone. In my post, Broken Trust, I shared a story about a young lady who lost trust she had had for her dad for over 25 years. She felt she could not trust again because her heart was broken and her perception about men had changed. I want to take some time, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to tackle trust issues that affect people in the body of Christ. I will share a post on learn to trust again but before that I will write on Rebuilding Trust.
Related Post: Broken Trust
As I indicated in Broken Trust, trust can be amended but it demands conscious efforts with the Grace of God. There is no such thing as I can’t be trusted again. That is not the voice of God because our God believes in second chance. Read the story of Jonah, and that of King Ahab. God gave each one chance(s) to make things right. Jonah utilised his but King Ahab kept messing up till he was consumed. This means that human, who is created in God’s image, has the tendency to give second chance but he/she would need some reassurance. It may take some time to rebuild trust but do not give up and keep praying as you do your part.
So my question is: what can you do to build trust again?
Here are six (6) things I believe you can do to Rebuild Trust.
- Recognise your fault
The first thing you can do to rebuild trust is to recognise your mistake. A lot of times people fail to accept that what they did was wrong. Their ego would not allow them to recognise the mistake(s) they have committed. They easily accept that their action(s) affected or hurt the other party yet accepting that their action(s) was/were wrong become(s) difficult. They try to shift blame and develop theories that “if this or that had not happened, I would not have done what I did”. When you genuinely accept your mistake(s), you make it easy for the affected person to forgive and let go. Show remorse for your actions and put yourself in the affected person’s shoes to see how you would have felt if it were you. Don’t let your ego stops you from accepting your mistakes. Be like the prodigal son who accepted his fault and asked the father for forgiveness.
A lesson can be learnt from manufacturing firms. When they receive reports about faulty products, they quickly come out to accept the fault and sometimes recall millions of products.
- Ask for Forgiveness and Forgive yourself
After you have accepted your mistake, ask for forgiveness. Often it is difficult to receive forgiveness from a hurting heart but do not stop praying for him/her so that God, through the Holy Spirit, will strengthen them and help them to forgive you. It may be difficult but prayer works. It should be noted that when you sin against someone or offend someone, you do same against God. You hurt God when you hurt your spouse, children, friend, etc because God is closed to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18). He cares for His children so He feels their pains and steps in to rescue them. Therefore pray to God for forgiveness and ask that person too for forgiveness. When you have received forgiveness from the affected person(s), forgive yourself and let it go. Do not brood over your mistakes as it would only hurt you and make you miserable. Yesterday would not return for you to undo what was committed but the good news is that you have today to make things right for better tomorrow.
Related post: Seventy Times Seven
Restitution is yet another difficult thing to do in the body of Christ. Often people ask for forgiveness and tend to believe that the job is done. In a situation where you robbed someone or cheated on a business partner, you have to pay back what was stolen (if possible with interest). In the scriptures, when Zacchaeus received Grace from our Lord Jesus Christ, he stood in the public and said “…if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” (Luke 19:1-10, NLT). In a situation where your action(s) hurt your spouse, family, friends, work colleague(s), you can compensate them with gifts or treat. The act of giving gift/treat would further calm their hearts and minds. It could be a day out or organising small gathering of family and friends to re-ignite the love.
It is not enough to ask for forgiveness, repay for what you stole, or organise event to pacify affected person(s). You have to reassure them that you will not repeat your action(s). You have to give them words to rely on. You have to tell them about steps you have taken to ensure that you do not repeat yourself. People will trust you by your words. However, if you do not give them assurance that the mistake(s) would not be repeated, and steps you have taken to ensure you live up to your words, they would doubt you.
When automobile company recalls cars, they assure customers that necessary steps have been taken to ensure that faults do not happen again. These companies go extra mile to ensure that their customers’ trust in their products does not dwindle. I received message from HP two years after I had purchased an hp laptop that they were recalling chargers because customers had reported about fire cases. They apologised and explained what could have caused the fire and risk of keeping the charger if it was among specified batch. They were ready to offer replacement at zero cost to me. They did not want their customers to lose trust in their products. This can be applied in our lives as we work to restore trust in our relationships.
- Pray for Strength
“No one will succeed by strength alone.” (1 Samuel 2:9, NLT). Your strength will disappoint you if you rely on it to keep your promises. You need God’s grace. The grace to make you live up to your words. Do not let your partner, friend, or family member, or hurt person see you as politician who opens his/her mouth to promise but hardly keep his/her word. Pray to God for strength and wisdom to live your words.
Pray because Satan will tempt you to repeat your mistake or hurt the person in another way through similar means. Satan does not want members of the body of Christ to unite because he knows that when they are united, they are capable of doing extraordinary things on earth. They can win more souls, preach the gospel, and live in peace. Above all, he does not want your happiness so pray without ceasing.
- Walk in Love
Walking in love is the greatest height you can reach in your Christian journey. Love is the greatest gift you could ever offer your neighbour. When you walk in love, you do not act in your selfish interest. You consider your spouse, friend, colleague, and partner’s feelings before taking decision because you would not want to hurt them. You don’t cheat on people when you walk in love. In effect, your life would only be a burden to those who choose to walk in darkness.
When you walk in love, people trust you because they see the life of Christ Jesus in you. You speak God’s Word and your life is guided by His Word. Love will tell you that “it hurts so do not do it.” Love will remind you of your commitment to God and your neighbour. People keep messing up because they miss this point: They make vows but they are unable to keep. They promise not to cheat again yet they find themselves cheating. Some keep lying because they do not walk in love. Love will not make you lie because you will be prompted that lying will hurt the other person. Walk in love and trust issues will be a thing of the past.
Trust issues affect everyone. In this life, we will hurt people directly or indirectly. We will be at the brink of losing trust or other people losing trust in us but there is hope (that is if we have messed up). The only mistake, as one said, is the mistake not learnt from. Life is a learning process so we learn as we grow. If we have hurt people in our lives, I believe that going to the person to recognise and apologise for our mistakes, ask for forgiveness, forgive ourselves, make restitution, give them assurance that we would not repeat our mistakes, pray to God for strength and wisdom, and walking in love will help us rebuild Broken Trust in Jesus’ Name. Amen