Did you know trust isn’t really a choice?

Did you know trust isn’t really a choice?

Did you know trust isn’t really a choice?

We tell ourselves it is. We often hear some version of this – or we say it – “I don’t trust anybody.” These words are often spoken with such confidence they almost sound admirable – like a rallying cry or an invitation to join a cause.

We all know how we get there – to the place where we boldly or silently tell the world – “I don’t trust.” Our needs aren’t met; our expectations aren’t met either. Conflict stays unresolved. Hurts don’t get healed. Issues become our identity instead of just a struggle.

So here’s the headline: Trust is not a choice; trust is connection.

Because we’re created for relationship, we live in relationship – it’s not a choice. Relationship requires connection; every day we connect – we bond – in ways that meet our needs – or our wants. We either live in relationship with life-giving people and affections, or we live without relationships with life-giving people, bonded to other kinds of affections.

The truth is:

  • Trust is as natural – as involuntary – as breathing.
  • Trust is the door we open; what’s on the other side of the door is what we trust.

So, let’s ask ourselves:

  • What am I trusting?
  • What’s coming through my open door? Is it life-giving or life-draining? For me? For others?

I decided several years ago I needed to open some new doors, and close some old ones. My life was missing integrity; what I was trusting came through doors I had found on disconnected paths. I’m still recognizing some life-draining connections; I always will. That’s ok.

That’s ok for me and ok for you, too. What’s not ok is refusing to recognize the life-draining connections. It’s not ok because those bonds are draining the life out of us – and sadly, they’re draining the life out of those we love, too.

Here are some common connections:

Life-giving connections Life-draining connections
Love / Grace Apathy / hate / indifference /anger
Humility Pride
Believing God for my identity Earning my identity
The effort of submission to a trusted source Striving / Control / Proving
Loving things that are good for me. Loving things that are not good for me.

Opening and closing doors is hard work; it’s good work. It’s often the kind of work we learn by watching someone else do it – someone we trust. It’s often the kind of work we do with the help of others; some of these doors are pretty stubborn.

Some of these doors, we can’t even see ourselves; they’re kind of like the tag sticking out of the back of our shirt, or the toilet paper trailing behind us – stuck to our shoe. We need others to tell us what we can’t see. We won’t hear what they say if we don’t trust them – and give them permission to protect us. Trust is not a choice; choose to trust people who can help you.

One more tip: I’ve found self-effort is useless in closing doors to life-draining connections; GRACE seems to be the only real life-changer. That’s good news – remember. . . Grace is free!

Please share your thoughts in a comment:

What impact can opening some life-giving doors have on your life and the life of your family? Who can help you? Will you choose to trust those who can help you?