Whatever Happened To Trust?

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By Myrna Conrad

There are so many discrepancies in our world today that it is hard to know who or what to trust. Trust is a “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something.”

I do believe that it is harder to trust today than it was a few decades ago, even a few years ago. There is now so much more information available, at our fingertips. We are bombarded with thoughts, ideas and advertisements for the latest and greatest thing.
There is such a plethora of new and changing information that it is hard to know what is legitimate and what is bogus, especially when some of the information seems to contradict other information. The speed with which things change also make it hard to know what to do and who to trust.

Who do you trust to educate your children? I remember when we could send our children to school trusting that teachers were instructing them in the basics of reading, math, science, language and legitimate history (not history that has been rewritten). Now, in many schools, rather than being taught core curriculum, children are being taught more about how they should think and feel on social issues, which should be the responsibility of the parent(s), not teachers.

Due to social media, even friendships are different today than they used to be. Trust is established by spending face-to-face time with someone. Today, people have friends that they only communicate with via social media. Instead of working out disagreements, people can just “unfriend” you with a keystroke. Trust is also broken when people post pictures or information on social media that is hurtful or just plain mean. It is harder to know who to trust with your friendship when friends are so provisional and transient.

Of even more importance, who can you trust with your heart? If you haven’t met that perfect mate in high school or college, where do you go to meet and date someone trustworthy today? Many people are using dating sites to meet people. But how do you know if a person is who they say they are and how do you determine who is safe and trustworthy without spending face to face time with that person? Many other people have been hurt and betrayed in a relationship, finding it hard to learn to trust others and even themselves. Trusting your heart to someone is hard, because it can be so easily broken. However, the alternative is a very guarded and unhappy life.

What about religion and the question of who we can trust with our eternal destiny? There are so many different religions, teachings and denominations. There are even disagreements within each of these religions and denominations. Each of us should search for truth when it comes to this most important question of where to place our trust. I have found that the one person I can trust beyond all other is the one who was willing to die for me, Jesus. I can trust Him because of His teaching, His works, His promises which were all kept, to include that He would die and conquer death by His resurrection on the third day. I can and have placed my trust in Him, which has changed my life forever.

It is important that we know how to discern truth and know who and what can be trusted. It is also important to be someone who can be trusted. Here are a few strategies:

Be Aware:
– Think about those who can be trusted in your life.
– Be aware of people’s willingness to trust you.
– Realize that integrity and character take a lifetime to build, but only a moment to lose.

Be Intentional:
– Be careful to research what you hear to see if the source is reliable and trustworthy.
– Take time to develop relationships. In order to have great friendships, you must be a great friend.
– If you have been hurt in the past, don’t let this stop you from opening your heart to trust again.
– Make every effort to be someone that can be trusted.

None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes. But, it is so important to live a life of honesty and integrity. We want to find people that we can trust, but we also want to be a person who can be trusted.