Quite possibly you have either been told ‘You must earn my trust’ or perhaps you have spoken those words yourself to a child … or even an adult.
Oftentimes this is not a statement made as a relationship begins. Oddly enough we typically, yet cautiously, enter into new relationships with trust somewhat assumed, untested and unchallenged.
Typically such a challenge is issued much later in the midst of an ongoing relationship when there has been an incident or series of incidents that have broken the trust in that relationship between two people.
Would you agree?
For the sake of this post, let me offer my definition of broken trust. I am talking about a relationship between two people where the person in authority discovers that someone under his or her authority has basically not acted according to his or her expectations. This could be a parent-child relationship, a boss-employee relationship, a coach-player relationship, etc.
(Yes, I realize completely that broken trust can occur between friends, co-workers, spouses, siblings, etc. and that prior to the broken trust one may not have had authority over the other. Interestingly enough when this occurs, the one betrayed seemingly assumes some expected ‘authority’ over the other until trust has been restored … )
So what exactly do we mean when we say, ‘You must earn my trust’?
I’m open to any definitions you might have to offer.
My explanation regarding ‘restored trust’ would go something like this: You (re)earn the authority’s trust when you consistently, reliably and lovingly (not begrudgingly) act and speak from the heart according to the expectations of that authority because you trust his or her wisdom, knowledge, judgment and experience more than you trust your own.
And suddenly …
What happened in the Garden of Eden that broke the trust relationship between God and man … and the fact that faith IN Christ Jesus restores that relationship reconciling us to God seems, on a considerably different plane, very similar to how the restoration of trust and also reconciliation occurs in my interpersonal relationships.