THE NECESSITY OF TRUST IN RELATIONSHIPS (PART SIX): HOW TO TRUST OTHERS AND BE TRUSTWORTHY

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The thrust of this sixth and concluding article of the series focused on the value of trust for all relationships is on how to trust God and others and be trustworthy. The series has made the point again and again that trust of the right kind is essential for all meaningful relationships and yet it is a rare commodity. This concluding article now focuses on some practical steps and ways to build and increase trust in and around us. How may we trust others realistically without being victims of betrayal of trust? How may one be trustworthy and attract trust from others? Let us consider below. The fifth article on the how indispensable trust is for all important relationships observed the following points:

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.

Trust promotes peace. How? Children are genuinely at peace when they have their basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter provided and do not worry about the rest because they just trust their parents that whatever they need will be provided. Parents worry but the children have confidence that their needs will be met without a doubt. Thus they are at peace. Likewise those who have implicit trust in God and his ability to provide and work for their good are at peace in all situations. Those who refuse to put their trust in a Supreme Being worry about things and situations that often never occur. Those who trust their dearest and nearest and those persons and circumstances essential to their lives are at peace amid the various changes and vicissitudes of life.

Trust makes it possible to reconcile after a conflict. When things go wrong with inter-personal, communal and international relationships it takes genuine trust to restore confidence for a new start. All healthy relationships have their difficult and challenging moments and need trust to go through and stay together in peace and harmony.

Progress of any substantial kind requires trust. When humans borrow, issues checks, and enter into and consummate contracts trust is the basis of all these transactions. Trust benefits businesses and all kinds of investments and educational ventures. To seek education and life-skills is acting on trust that it will improve and increase one’s prospects of a better life. The benefit of trust in this regard is that it enables one to venture into things that have long-term benefits beyond the immediate. A well placed trust makes for peace of mind, promotes reconciliation, and enhances investing for the good of personal and communal life.

It is absolutely significant that one learn to trust God and fellow human beings for one’s own wellbeing and the wellbeing of society. It is easier for a lot of people to trust God than fellow human beings. But let it be noted that trusting God has to be done in biblical and realistic ways. Trusting God does not mean he will always do what the one who trusts desires. One must believe that God has perfect knowledge of all persons and situations and is absolutely good at all times. And that what he does or permits will ultimately be in the best interest of the faithful. Even the disappointments can be used to make one better.

One can learn to trust humans without being naïve. One can trust and yet be discerning and cautious as to whom and how far one can trust. It is necessary to begin interactions with people for the first time on an open minded basis. One has to give others the benefit of the doubt and let them prove themselves.
The one who trusts must realize that all humans are flawed and yet have potentials for goodness and kindness and should build on the good as opposed to the negative in others. The one who trusts has to leave room for disappointment and for alternatives if let down. One way to trust others is never to give up on them easily but rather consciously seek to help build the virtue of trust in them.

The one who desires trust from others must be trustworthy. The ingredients of trustworthiness are integrity, commitment, sincerity, reliability to deliver what one is supposed to, and seeking the welfare of others as means of advancing one’s own good. In proving oneself trustworthy deeds and actions are more important than just words. Indeed actions speak louder than words. To be trustworthy is to consciously and diligently seek to do to others what one would expect to be done to self (golden rule of the Bible, Matthew 7:12). To trust God and others is to be broad-minded without being naïve and to look out for the good of self and others.

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