A while back, a friend told me that she has trouble trusting people and that because of this lack of trust, she has trouble loving others. Trust is something I’ve struggled with from time to time, so I’ve pondered about this. It does seem difficult to love when you don’t (or can’t) trust someone.
As I thought about this, I looked back on the periods of my life when I trusted others, as well as those times when I didn’t have trust. Why did I trust? Why didn’t I trust? What was going on in my life? Who did I trust? Who didn’t I trust? Did my opinions change over time? What was my mindset at the time? Did my lack of trust affect my ability to love?
My childhood years were truly joyful. Our family didn’t have a lot of material things, but we were loved. I trusted my parents implicitly. I trusted my siblings. I felt safe in our home. We had disagreements and arguments like every other family, but I knew that everyone had my back. No matter what happened out in the big cruel world, I knew I would be supported by family. I trusted them, so it was easy to love them.
Just like everyone else, I eventually found out that the world is a crazy place in which to live. Some people don’t have your back. Some people say and do some pretty mean things. As I mingled with others more, I realized there are some people who can’t be trusted. It would not be safe to trust these people. When physical, emotional, or spiritual safety is at risk, it’s not wise to trust. Yet, we are to love everyone. (See multiple scripture references at the bottom of this article.) Since the scriptures are replete with the same message to love one another, it must be pretty important!
So, how do we love when trusting is not possible? We trust in the Lord. If I can’t trust my neighbor, business associate, or whomever it is, I can trust in the Lord. I can trust that He will make everything right. I can trust that eventually justice is served. I can trust that God has everything in hand. All I need to do is transfer the trust from the person who doesn’t deserve it to the Lord. Then I need to love. I need to put all the untrustworthy thoughts behind me and just love.
I don’t need to hand over my life’s savings to someone whom I can’t trust. I can say no, but love anyway. I can love because I trust Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I don’t have to put myself in the same room with a bully, but I can trust the Lord and love the bully as a child of God. It’s not necessary for me to get in a vehicle with someone who has been drinking, but I can trust the Lord that if someone is harmed by the drunk driver, justice will be served whether here on earth or in the next life.
While trust makes it easier to love others, love is not dependent upon trust. Untrustworthy people are still Heavenly Father’s children. They are our brothers and sisters. It is sometimes hard to remember that we are only a “dysfunctional family” of humans for a brief moment. Eternal perspective is everything. Trust and love will be ours eternally.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)
But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. (1 Thessalonians 4:9)
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:7, 11-12)
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. (1 John 3:11, 23)
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. (John 15:12,17)
And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. (2 John 1:5)
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. (1 Peter 1:22)
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you. (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.