North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

    In this world many people will take advantage of your trust and leave you with empty hands, an empty heart, and for some an empty pocketbook. You may sometimes be misunderstood, perhaps taken advantage of, abused, or even cheated on. There is more to be gained by being truthful that there is lost in being untrustworthy. Most people want to be honest, kind, and friendly, because people generally respond with the same actions. The Bible says, “Do unto others as you would have done to you” (Luke 6:31). I’ve found in my work, even the hardened criminals, when given a task and real responsibility, will not often betray that trust. Deep down in the soul of most people, there’s the desire to succeed and achieve.

    Many times we hold back from trusting someone with complete earnest. It’s no small wonder we tend to go about our days with skepticism or look to others with a suspicious eye. As a child, our trusting nature kicks-in. This nature is often the thing that is taken, torn-up, and destroyed by people who have no regard for the well-being of the child. It’s quite a disturbing scene to see children abused and neglected because someone had some sick, selfish, internal greed that took advantage of their trust. This my friends is why trust has become a rare characteristic among all of us. We must embrace trust. We must hold it sacred. And we need to pursue a life that characterizes our trustworthiness. You may think it’s too late. It’s never too late to start doing the good, right, and honest thing. It’s always the right time to do the right thing.

    From a psychological standpoint, trust is believing that the person who is trusted will do what we expect of them. It’s critical for trust to be taught in the family and toward others. Family relationships are generally the closest and where emotional love and acceptance are given and practiced. When a person can be trusted in their most intimate relationships, there tends to be a strong foundation for integrity. In healthy child development, a critical element for the family is that the parent(s) can be trusted by the child. Psychoanalyst Erik Erikson says the development of basic trust is the first psychosocial development occurring or failing, during the first two years of life. Success results in feelings of security, trust, and optimism, while failure leads toward an orientation of insecurity and mistrust.

    It’s a fact in todays society that trust is often affected by the erosion of a marriage. Research suggests children of divorce do not exhibit less trust in mothers, partners, spouses, and friends than their peers of intact families. However, the impact of parental divorce is affected by trust in their father. This is interesting and places a heavy burden on the man to consider how trustworthy he actually is. Does his actions prove he can be trusted? Is he a man that really loves his wife? Does he care about what peer pressure his kids are facing?

    God can be trusted because he has always did what He said He would; never once has He broken a promise or failed to keep His Word (1 Cor. 1:9). And Jesus was a man who could be trusted by all and most people sought him out as a friend. Why—because he cared about what was important to them (Luke 19:41). Trust is needed in a society if it desires to make a positive impact within the community. Trust makes it possible to take what is known about a person then be able to look beyond that day to the hopes of new possibilities. That’s why trust is critical to the sustainment of healthy relationships. Can you marry a person you don’t trust? Can you become a good friend to someone who constantly talks behind your back or says things that don’t add up? Trust can be attributed to the strongest relationships between people. It’s also easier to trust someone when you feel there is a benefit for doing so.

    Short-term relationships are not built on trust. As good as they may seem they’re often built on attraction, convenience, and/or sexual desire. Long-term relationships are more enduring and built upon trust for it takes time for it to develop between two people. It’s a sure thing that trust is being vulnerable to someone. Being trustworthy is the behavior of one person that inspires positive expectations in another. Find that kind of person and hang on to them! Most people know the value of trust because once it’s lost, it’s very hard to regain. It’s not impossible, but difficult. Some are not willing to invest the time and energy in rebuilding it. Well-meaning people are left to live with the idea it will never be the same.

    You need to understand the potential to trust is still alive. It’s still worth pursuing, otherwise God would not have commanded it (Prov. 3:5-6). Trust makes life predictable for people in relationships because they have proven themselves. Trust creates community, because people and families can rely upon one another. And trust makes it easier for people to cooperate and work together because alliances have been formed. Want you find yourself trusting God who has done nothing to betray your trust? It’s true that God allows people to act contrary to what we would expect them and sometimes to even hurt us. But, God can be trusted fully (Heb. 10:23) and wants to help us heal if trust is ever broken between you and someone you know. Tell God about it and share your thoughts and dreams with Him—for it is God who gives us the power to live. Acts 17:28 says, “It is in Him that we live and move and keep on living…we are God’s children.” Find a church where you can establish trusting relationships and be a friend in whom others can trust. And above all, follow God in all your ways.

     This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at  

Posted by on Aug 26 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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