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Reclaiming Your Ability to Trust

Fourth in a Series

March 8, 2021

This is the fourth installment in my four-part series about moving from trust impaired to trust repaired to trust prepared. Obviously, I can’t mention everything in Alan and Pauly Heller and my book, Learning How to Trust. I hope I have given you enough content to get you on the road again to reclaiming your trust. In a sense, trust is like a sword. Having a sword and using a sword are two different things.

Reclaiming and regaining your trust will be a process, not an event. Broken trust takes time to heal. But the journey will be worth it. Reclaiming your trust opens you up to a world of possibilities that you didn’t even know existed, especially in uplifting relationships.

Regaining trust is a multi-step process of recognizing, remembering, releasing, rethinking, relearning, and re-establishing. These words have ‘begin-ergy.’ Begin-ergy is the God-given energy to begin again on the road to recovery and reaching the destination. It realizes that someday is today and somebody is you. 

The first step is to recognize that you need help learning how to trust again. That’s called confessing. It’s saying, “Help, I lost my trust! I can’t do this on my own. I’m going to need some help.” Recognizing your need for help is a choice that opens the door of heaven and to others also. Where self-dependence ends, God's dependence begins. Trusting wisely is going to take your choice and God’s power.

When you admit to God and others, “Help, I lost my trust!” you are also saying, “But, I know I have trust inside me; I’m starting to believe that trusting again is a possibility for me.” Think about this. It is only fair that if yesterday's decisions caused today's problems, today's decisions could create tomorrow's blessings and recovery. Today's expectancy is tomorrow's recovery.

The second step is remembering. It remembers there is hope. Hope is the expectation of future good. It's remembering that God didn't go through all the trouble of sending Jesus to merely point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it is. He came to help, to put the world right again. Remembering knows that there really are people and a God worth trusting. We get another opportunity if we can get past the past.

God has more good things for you in the future than any bad things you have ever done in your past. God is much less interested in you trying to love Him than allowing Him to love you. Allow God to love you by empowering you to regain your trust.

The third step is releasing. Releasing is giving up those “I’ll never fall in love again” or “I’ll never trust a pastor again” or “All men are ________” judgments, vows, and generalizations. When you give up the preconception and judgments you have made, you allow God to show you how to trust wisely.

Release your trust issue into God’s hands by forgiveness. When you forgive, you don’t change the past. You change your future. Forgiveness releases who and what you are handcuffed to. Forgiving someone or something is not for the other person; it's for you. When we forgive the people that have hurt us, God minimizes the effects of the pain they’ve caused us. It doesn’t matter what others are doing. It matters what you are doing. Forgiving is hard but given freely. Trust, on the other hand, is earned. 

After releasing comes the fourth step, rethinking. It's not what you think you are; it's what you think...you are. Please realize you haven't lost your ability to trust; you've just placed your trust in untrustworthy things. Because those "things" have consistently failed, you have chosen not to trust in anything. You've become afraid to trust anything that even resembles those things, but you never lose your ability to trust. 

In God’s world, there are no winners or losers; there are only winners and learners. You’re alive, you are here, the big picture is what is essential. Maybe God is saying something to us in our trials. Maybe God wants to show us His power in our problems.

The next step is relearning. Learning How to Trust is about relearning how to avoid trust traps. It's about understanding what and who to trust in. It's also about what and who not to trust in. Trust is a gift. Use trust, but use it wisely. Please learn that making commitments generates hope. Keeping commitments generates trust. I have learned that people can only be trustworthy to the degree that the word of God manifests itself in their lives.

The last step is re-establishing. Re-establishing means living out what you believe. And what you believe should be based on wisdom, character, and God's word. Re-establishing transports us to the willingness to trust again, but this time, trusting wisely. It’s learning to trust in God first, then trust in God working in people second.

Re-establishing is a reset of your identity. If you sort out your identity before interacting with others, you will live from a position of strength. Forget what people think of you. You’re people. What do you think of yourself? Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. When you find out how much you are worth, you will stop giving discounts. When people hate you for no reason, remember God loves you for no reason. The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than what you settled for.

Dear Lord. Thanks for the lessons of the past. Now, Lord, I am ready for the future!  

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
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