First off, I apologize for the delay in putting this up. I got caught up with work (priorities right?), and then by the time I remembered I hadn’t put the post up I was on my way to dance team rehearsal. I can’t promise it won’t happen again, but you have my word that I’ll do my best to avoid it.
Alright! Let’s do this!
Today’s topic is something I have pondered upon several times in the recent past. Two questions have been the foundation of those musings:
Why do we trust? What informs our decision to trust the things we trust?
Whether as a verb or a noun “trust” involves “…belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something”. Trust is one of the most fundamental concepts with regards to human interaction. Essentially, we input the value of reliability, or truth or dependability into people/things. This value is dependent on our perception/estimation of personal and/or external assessments of whatever it is we are putting our trust in. Every day of our lives we put our trust in people and things, but how many times have we paused and analyzed our reasons for doing so?
On Tuesday I was thankful for Identity and talked about how several times I came to a point where I questioned who I really was when everything I valued (seemed to have) failed me. But before I could truly find my identity (in Christ), I had to really introspect and find the things I was putting my trust in, and why. I also questioned what made people put their trust in me; because the only way they could do the things they did for me was the fact that they trusted me.
Generally, we consciously trust people that have shown themselves to be trustworthy (like duh!). Based on the interactions and what we know of people we decide to what level we can trust them with different things. On an unconscious level though, we trust because we need it to survive!
Random fact: Every single day of your life, you trust random strangers who you don’t know and have never met to be decent human beings and not do really bad things to you. Walking on the street, driving your car, riding the bus, you unconsciously trust that the other people on the street (or flying in the air) aren’t going to wipe you off the face of the earth. Even if you’re paranoid, at some level, you trust that someone or something somewhere will do what they’re supposed to do. Why? Because it’s the only way we can really function properly as human beings in a society.
What I came to realize though was that sometimes my perception of the dependability or reliability of those things wasn’t necessarily the truth. Did the value of my degree depreciate because I couldn’t get a job when I was searching? To me it did, but was that necessarily true? Yes/no/maybe so. Did family and friends let me down some of the times I went to them for help? Yes. Did that mean they were no longer trustworthy? Hell no!(At least for MOST of them) Did God’s reliability change all the times I prayed and it felt like He was on vacation and wasn’t checking His voicemail? Nope! Nah! Nein!
And so, it came back to the two questions I asked above. And once again, the answers weren’t extremely complex. Like I’ve said before, we trust because we must. As to what informed my decision to trust in the people/things I trust in: I trust(ed) in my degree because of the pedigree of my institution and its faculty, and the knowledge/wisdom they imparted. I trust(ed) in my intelligence and ability, because while I’m not the smartest or most capable dude in the room, I can usually hold my own. I trust(ed) in friends and family, because they (had) consistently demonstrate(d) care and love for me. Finally, and most importantly, I trust in God, because of His Word and the things He’s done for me in the past. My biggest realization though, was that of ALL the things I trust in, the one person/thing whose actual reliability isn’t dependent on my perception in any way at all, is God. Sometimes, my perception of a person’s/thing’s reliability may be correct, based on proper analysis. But if my estimation of God is different from the truth that He loves me, will never leave me or forsake me, and will provide ALL that I NEED, then my estimation is false; regardless of what my circumstances or situation may say to the contrary.
So, today, I am thankful for trust; in people, in little and big things, and ultimately in God.
Featured Image Source: thomsonreuters.com