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|
|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?