Forgiveness and trust are two different journeys.
Forgiveness is necessary for your health and wellbeing. If you don’t forgive, it can jade your heart or fester bitterness. The sooner you can forgive someone, the sooner the burden of life lightens. We need to live in a lightened place. The heavier the burdens we carry, the weightier our world becomes.
I think where people get confused is in the area of trust; not forgiveness. To say I forgive you is admitting we are all flawed and we all err on imperfection. It’s normal to disappoint or hurt someone. It’s normal to get upset with one another. It’s normal to say, “Forgive me” or “I forgive you.” It’s part of life. We are disillusioned if we presuppose we can ride the wave of life without ever hurting someone or being hurt.
What about trust? That’s a different topic.
I can forgive you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I will trust you.
When John Fluevog offered me a Director position I accepted wholeheartedly – elatedly! I also told him not to trust me. He gave me that “what did you just say?” look. I added, “I want to earn your trust, John.” It took me 18 months to earn John’s trust. (It was one of my most favorite emails to receive, with these words: “I trust you.”)
Earning someone’s trust is important to me. And someone earning my trust is equally important.
I won’t easily say I trust you. I will say I like you. I will offer up all kinds of accolades. But I will not say “I trust you” unless I really mean it. I measure it in my heart.
- Do I trust this person is for me?
- Do I trust this person is honest with me?
- Do I trust this person is capable of ________?
- Do I trust this person will do what they say?
Once I know how much I trust the individual, I can engage in the relationship accordingly.
I’m not saying it’s full distrust, but it might be a lack of trust in a specific area. If I trust you 25%, that’s important information for me to know beforehand. If I trust you 100%, then I will pour every ounce of my heart and soul into this personal or business relationship.
It is up to the person to earn my trust, if they so choose. And it’s up to me to grant them my trust, at whatever level that may be. Trust is the opportunity to strength a relationship. Without trust, the foundation weakens.
Sometimes interactions, conversations, or incidences hurt us. Ask yourself, “Does my hurt stem from a lack of trust or from the inability to forgive?” I guarantee you, the majority of time it will be a lack of trust.
– Karen Thrall