You’ve heard this if you experienced attending leaderships seminars for one reason or another. You have read this from business people. You heard this from the old pastors’ verbal testimony everytime they became nostalgic on their early years as a missionary. You’ll hear these words from old bosses as a form of advice to younger company bosses/managers, supervisors, employees. This is the sentence: TRUST IS EARNED. Especially in today’s times when people are becoming more and more pragmatic rather than desire spirituality, you need to earn other people’s trust. There are times that there are people who will trust you easily; it’s a good thing if you have friends like that. There are times that it will be year or even years before you can be trusted. Thus, once earned, cherish it, value the people that trust you. Value trust itself.
What if trust was broken and you’re not the SOLE reason why it was broken? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t encourage an Adam pointing at Eve because they had eaten the forbidden fruit. There are points in our life that we have broken someone’s, or even the people’s, trust because other people manipulated you to do things that will eventually cause you to break their trust.
In a legal perspective, when you did the deed, you’re still accountable, depending on the extent. However, here’s the sad part: those who manipulated you to do things their way are scot-free, no accountabilities, no disciplinary actions at all. The worst part? You have no choice but to admit that it’s your fault. You have no choice but to accept the consequences, even if others who were part of it are scot-free. By the way, there is no such thing as scot-free. One way or another, our sin will come back to haunt us.
However, when you are manipulated to the point of breaking other people’s, even your own loved ones’, trust, the consequences can be so depressing. There are things that you can no longer do. There are places that you can no longer go. Why? Because at some point of your life, you were manipulated by someone (or maybe a group of people). Maturity and Godly wisdom dictate us not to be bitter and not to pass blame on others. Instead, be responsible enough to accept the consequences of your actions, be it manipulated or by conscious decision.
Now, you have no choice but to put the pieces of yourself together. Thanks to those people. Now, because of that, there are times that you are generalized, even by your own loved ones. Why? Trust is broken. “There are series of events that lead you to this terrible mess. Each situation is unique from each other. These are not the same people that ” These are all irrelevant plainly because you broke their trust.
We have no choice, but to face this brutal truth: you may have been manipulated in doing stuff that will make other snot to trust you again, but since you’ve done it, most of the time, you will be solely liable. The manipulative person/people who did that to you? Well, I don’t know. Let’s just say that they will have their day. When that day comes, maybe you’re too happy, or not around to see that you are already vindicated.
The lesson? Be kind, but careful. Give room for trust (for it will burdensome to yourself if you don’t trust anyone), but tie your camel. A good Christian is not only kindhearted, compassionate, and forgiving, but also cautious and prepared. Remember the “whole armor of God”? The “harmless as a dove, wise as serpent” principle best fit the description of what a Christian should be in these times when people, even from the inside, plan to manipulate you to do wrong things for their selfish reasons. Since trust is hard earned, let’s keep an eye on manipulative people. Avoid them. Never give them the first base. If ever you’re part of her or his team, make sure that he or she will also be accountable when the going gets tough. These types of people should not prevail. Trusts are broken because of them.
Yes, trust is earned, that’s why be careful once you earned it. Don’t let others manipulate you to the extent that you will be mistrusted.