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Learning to trust others

This issue of trust is huge. We Americans may not recognize it because we live in a high trust culture. We are taught to respect the value of a handshake and the rule of law. But travel to the parts of West Africa that are known for their scams and you’ll see how rare that trust is. …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

This issue of trust is huge.
We Americans may not recognize it because we live in a high trust
culture. We are taught to respect the
value of a handshake and the rule of law.
But travel to the parts of West Africa that
are known for their scams and you’ll see how rare that trust is.

I’m by nature a person who is prone to risk-taking. I take risks by trusting people far more
quickly than is natural for others. I’m
not sure why this is; you’d have to peer far down into my psyche (the final
frontier is not outer space, it’s the infinitely complex human mind and spirit).

Perhaps it’s because my parents were always quick to trust
me – they trusted me to travel the world as a young person. They were big on learning to take
responsibility. Perhaps that’s one
reason why. Perhaps it’s because I never had to suffer some great, enduring pain
that could have rendered me gun-shy as a child.
Perhaps it’s because I am very intuitive and read people quickly.

Whatever the explanation, I’ve found that trusting people
quickly is a double-edged sword. People
want to be trusted and they tend to like you when you trust them, but they can
also let you down because they didn’t merit your trust.

People don’t just want to be trusted; if you look deeper,
you’ll see that they are looking for someone to believe in them. Most people don’t

really believe in themselves.
Rarely has anyone trusted them in the way they were longing to be
trusted.

The problem is that all of us live in this “no man’s land”
between our idealized view of ourselves – who we feel we

should be – and who we are

now
at this point in time. And we have
considerably more upside than we may realize.

When someone comes along and takes a chance on that upside
by trusting us when perhaps we don’t deserve the trust, we begin to open
ourselves up to the possibility of change.

Trusting someone with a task on the job is one thing,
but trusting them with a secret or with a part of your life that is painful to
discuss, is quite another. We need to
take more risks, choosing to trust people with our pain when we’re not entirely
sure that they are trustworthy.

Comments (3)

  • I would only add we need to follow the spirit,we don’t alway’s see the peripheral in others lives.

  • What was the measure of the risk God took when He poured out His Spirit on flesh…ALL FLESH?? I don’t know.

    But trust we all must and without doubts too. I often amuse myself wondering what went on in the mind of Apostle John when he knew Judas often stole from the bag. Could that suggest his more critical writings on how Judas betrayed the Master? See John 12 and 13 again please. I laugh…

    All the same, I guess the Lord deliberately gave Judas instead of Matthew (a tax collector), the significant office of Treasurer.

    Seth said West Africans, fine…but this scam thing is truly branded on many if not all Nigerians. Yes I can call names because I’m Nigerian too praise God!! The challenge I see is how to maintain the agape life regardless of scams and cons. Why? Because each time I’m scammed or hear of a scam, I’m strongly persuaded (by the feelings of my loss) to change my attitude towards people that come for assistance or whatever and thus my love life shrinks. I’m forced to live more invulnerable. I could call it secure but I notice attitudinal changes that run parallel to 1Cor 13.

    So it’s like the scam artists pour sand, gravel or trash into my well of living water. I have to deliberately clear the trash each time so that others who are not con artists can still drink, else, sooner or later, the living well/fountain will either dry up or will remain dirty and undrinkable. God forbid!!

    I note the scripture “There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful lifefear of death, fear of judgmentis one not yet fully formed in love.” 1Jn 4:18 (MSG) I dare add…fear of scams. The Agape life exposes the Christian to scams and he must learn to deal with it while maintaining his focus on Jesus.

    If my love for Him leads me to be scammed for His cause, let Him see to it.

  • Here I am re-reading your comment 13 years later, Uche. I love the trust relationship we have built over those 13 years! Thank you for being so trust-worthy!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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