Trust is one of those things we’re constantly told we should be doing and sometimes we believe we are. However that’s not always the case even if we believe what we are saying.
On this edition of Becoming Today it’s time to discuss trust, what it is, why it’s important and whether or not you can be becoming more trusting.
So what does trusting actually mean?
We know it’s important, there are reminders of that fact almost constantly and here in the US you need only go as far as your wallet for a reminder of “In God We Trust”.
Though many who believe or claim they are, really are not.
Let’s begin to come to a common understanding of the definition of trust.
As we’ll see the word is quite varied in its usage. Let’s begin with the explanations offered by Oxford Languages, formerly known as the Oxford Dictionary.
There we can see that when used as a noun, it goes five levels deep.
- firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.:
synonyms: confidence, belief, faith, freedom from suspicion/doubt, sureness, certainty, certitude, assurance, conviction, credence, reliance
antonyms: distrust, mistrust, skepticism
- an arrangement whereby a person (a trustee) holds property as its nominal owner for the good of one or more beneficiaries.
synonyms: safe keeping, keeping, protection, charge, care, custody, trusteeship, guardianship
- a large company that has or attempts to gain monopolistic control of a market.
- commercial credit.
- a hope or expectation.
Plus it doesn’t stop there because when we put trust into action as a verb, they offer two more possible definitions:
- believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of.
synonyms: have faith in, put/place one’s trust in, have (every) confidence in, believe in, pin one’s hopes/faith on, rely on, depend on, bank on, count on, be sure of, be convinced by, swear by, confide in
antonyms: distrust, mistrust, doubt
- allow credit to (a customer)
So immediately we’ll strike through the offerings about commerce, companies and credit because for decades we already know the monetary related motto of “In God We Trust” was widely altered in commerce to “In God We Trust. All Others Pay Cash”.
Still to trust or be trusting can cover a wide spectrum of things involving abilities, actions, arrangements, assurances, beliefs, certainty ,confidence, expectations, faith, hope, reliance, sureness, and truth.
That seems like a lot for five little letters. Plus as we’ll see it is still even so much more
To give us a working definition of the basic elements of what it means to trust in someone or something, let’s agree to discern the term as:
“Exhibiting and practicing full faith and confidence in an idea or individual, with reasonable expectation and reliance on their abilities to operate with the sureness of truth”
That seems like a lot to ask. It is. This is where we need to accept the idea that there are varying levels of trust that are perfectly acceptable.
For example it’s okay to trust the garbage collection service will haul your trash away, but you should not expect them to be trusted to deliver the mail, much less to transport you to eternal salvation.
There is trusting within limits and trusting implicitly. Therefore when using the term we need to understand that we should treat trust with differing levels of accountability, expectation and protection.
I don’t use the word childhood when discussing my past. I was always expected to be a short adult and circumstances dictated that I grow up a lot sooner than most. So let me say early in life I was taught to trust no one. Keep everything secret, do not tell anyone anything because they’ll use it against you.
This is not the proper lesson on developing trust. It is one I had to spend many years unlearning.
I had to learn early that there is a significant amount of discernment necessary, even coming to understand that for my own protection I had to trust others outside of the ones we are commonly expected to believe in. In addition I had to trust that inner knowing to not let the ones I was supposed to trust find out I was trusting others.
I could go on for several chapters on that, so for the purposes of our discussion today let me just say, I have known people with ties to organized crime that had more honor and were more trustworthy than some of those who publicly portrayed themselves as saints or claimed to be called to help.
In my early life trust was intertwined with secrets, lies and hiding. The good news is I have come to know that truth and faith are what truly go hand in hand.
Faith empowers our ability to trust.
This applies on several levels, as we further explore our Ro-notation definition through the filter of the ultimate trust, trusting fully in God, let’s review and see that our agreed statement begins with the expression of the idea that trust involves, ‘exhibiting and practicing full faith and confidence …’.
Practicing faith. Doing it presently and actively. As we learn in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”.
Faith is built upon a foundation of confidence affording us ‘with reasonable expectation’, to be able to rely on those or that we are trusting ‘to operate with the sureness of truth’.
“Becoming “confident in this and living expectantly with an open heart towards the concept, as the Scriptures remind us in Hebrews 11:6 it is lovingly satisfying to the one we should be seeking trust in and with. As it is written, “… without faith it is impossible to please God,…”
When we endeavor to be “Becoming” one who pleases God, then our trust in Him is rewarded.
Some of those edifying, enriching, illuminating benefits include allowing us to live a life free from many burdens, without anxiety, depression, fear, stress, or worry.
As the instruction of Jesus is reported in 1st Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”.
The Passion Translation of the Scripture reads slightly different translating casting to pouring.
“Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you”.
I like that image more because I see it as having the ability to completely rid yourself of those afflictions, rather than just grabbing some and throwing it away.
To “pour out” also allows me the image of having it all emptied and absorbed where if I were to cast something into the wind it might blow back and stick to me again. Just my personal preference but I hope to see the potential difference in outcomes.
The idea and proof of how trusting rather than worrying is also exemplified in the Books of Psalms and Proverbs.
In Psalm 37, David sings of the rewards of trusting confidentiality in the Lord, “ Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in his eyes. Fix your heart on the promises of God, and you will dwell in the land, feasting on his faithfulness. Find your delight and true pleasure in Yahweh, and he will give you what you desire the most”.
Plus as we recently discussed in our search and rescue mission for wisdom in Proverbs chapter three, Solomon states, trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart, rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make.Becoming” intimate with him in whatever you do,and he will lead you wherever you go.
Both of these great leaders, widely regarded as among some of the wisest to have live are in unison with the concept of “Exhibiting and practicing full faith and confidence in an idea or individual, with reasonable expectation and reliance on their abilities to operate with the sureness of truth”
So how do we embark on embracing this level of trust, well it all begins with a choice.
Decisions are something that apparently more than a few people have trouble with. As I often have shared, I belong to the schools of thought that teach,….
What happens when you make a decision?
Either it works. Or it doesn’t
Makes perfect sense to me, but even my sister, GiGi, whom I love dearly and as her big sister I can be a bit ( well maybe a lot more than a bit ) overprotective of; is constantly at odds with her ability to make a decision.
Large or small. Meaningful or not, she gets caught in “analysis paralysis” goes down every rabbit hole she can, stops, has a cup of coffee with Bugs Bunny and then returns exhausted crying, “I can’t get started!”
However she can. I can and you can too.
You can decide to do it, to do it now, then it’s time to put that decision into action.
That is where you move from trust as an idea to trusting as a positive use of energy aligning yourself with what you are hoping for.
Once you come to terms with this then you’ll see how taking the step of strengthening your faith is the process, because these intertwined needs of faith and trust are both actions.
Without taking action, they are nothing. Simply empty words.
This is where I see far too many people falling short of their goals.
They’ll tell us that they are trusting, believing remaining faithful to the idea that they can be “Becoming” all they were intended to be, then they backslide to murmuring.
We’ve all had these conversations,
‘I’m blessed. Knowing everything will be alright, but……’
‘I’m trusting God will provide, however…’
“ I know this is true, though just in case…’
As soon as they add a qualifier or a plan, b, c and d,they are not trusting.
This knowledge has been available for our comprehension since Jesus’ brother noted it in one of his Epistles. In James 2:17, we learn in the language of the New Living Translation, “So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless”.
Faith and trust without action are dead and useless. That’s a pretty clear statement.
Are you “Trusting In Trust”?
Are you truly believing and putting that faith, understanding and energy into action?
There are no ifs, buts or just in cases, God does not step in and deliver if you’re relying on plan b. He prefers for us to be working without a net.
Having the faith to believe His word is true, knowing He will always be faithful to us in delivering His promises.
Trust you are becoming a trusting soul by “Exhibiting and practicing full faith and confidence in an idea or individual, with reasonable expectation and reliance on their abilities to operate with the sureness of truth”
Trust in trusting. Have faith in His faithfulness and realize the rewards. Celebrate those victories in gratitude, with praise and thanksgiving then share the blessings with all you can.
After that? You’re welcome to join us again tomorrow for our next edition of “Becoming Today”.