The thrust of this fourth article of the series focused on the value of trust for all relationships is on the lack of trust and the harm it can cause. We have made the point again and again in the series that trust is essential to all healthy relationships. Why and how? We shall delineate below. The third article on what it means and takes to trust God wholeheartedly observed the following key points:
Trust in God involves acceptance and surrender. Hence to have faith or trust in God means one comes to a point of complete surrender to the demands of God, the key Object of trust. To trust God is to recognize him for who he is and who one is in her/his human nature. God is Almighty and most kind and merciful in his dealings with mankind. He is also a God of justice and great judgment. His love and grace move him to all sinners but his justice also requires that sin has to be dealt with.
The practical and biblical way to deal sin is to admit it and ask God to help one deal with it. This requires repentance (a change of mind, followed by a change in attitude). Again and again the Bible says repent and believe and salvation shall be yours. Trust in the biblical sense of the word involves belief, emotions, intellect, will, and well considered actions. It entails the whole of the person who trusts or believes and leads to a serious change that requires turning away from certain things, persons and influences to a Person and his will and dictates. It demands turning away from to completely different mindset, attitudes and habits.
To trust God totally means to abide in him. Jesus says, “Abide in me, as I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4-5). To abide is to be and remain connected, rooted and stuck to God under all circumstances and in all situations. Even when times are terrible and we feel abandoned by all, we stick in.
This does not mean that we should trust God and sit and do nothing; rather we think hard, plan well and strive hard to achieve our goals and tasks in dependence upon God, assured, that he is with us, guiding, enabling and providing through our feeble efforts. Divine and human sincere efforts are a marvelous combination and do work wonders!
The lack of trust of God and those we are supposed to trust lead to all sorts of problems. Indispensable institutions like marriage are undergirded by trust and the absence of trust destroys their very foundation and basis. When mortals refuse to trust God they turn to their own ways. The ways of man are always limited and often fail to address some of his acute needs such the spiritual side and the questions of life that go beyond money, physical and other earthly things. The deepest longing of the human heart requires a Supreme Being to satisfy.
Marriages and other forms of vital relationships are destroyed or severely diminished when trust is lacking. No human being is perfect. No one can perfectly understand another person. There are weaknesses in every person. Trust is required in dealing with one another’s faults, in forgiving and bearing with each other.
The lack of trust leads to suspicion of all kinds and suspicion can destroy relationships by too much negativity and imagining and attributing faults where they may not exist. Where there is distrust misunderstandings and misinterpretations abound. Mistrust, like hate, may cause people to lose their sense of objectivity and instead promote bias and subjectivity.
Families and friends have fallen apart due to the lack of trust among them. Often what stands in the way of reconciliation and resolving conflicts is the lack of trust. One of the main tasks of those who negotiate peace and reconciliation is to restore and create the atmosphere of trust. International wars and civil conflicts have dragged on due to the lack of trust among disputing parties. Marriages become irreconcilable when trust is lost between the couples. Friends turn into enemies when trust is replaced by distrust or mistrust.
One way to make this world and relationships better is to work on creating, maintaining and promoting trust of the right kind. Trust, the opposite of distrust, thrives when people are sincere and not necessarily perfect. Trust is advanced when communication, understanding and dialogue are nurtured. Lack of trust is responsible for many of our personal, communal and societal problems and genuine trust overcomes many of these problems.