The 3 Levels of Trust

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.~Ernest Hemingway

Buddy and Zoe
Buddy and Zoe

The great Author Ernest Hemingway lived a very active life for an author.  He moved around quite a bit and was involved in World War I and World War II.  He had to use an element of trust because he was also a soldier.  As a soldier, you put your trust in the man beside you that if you are in a battle that man will come to your aid if at all possible.  If you think about it, a team is a group of two or more individuals who trust each other to complete a task.  Each member of the team has a task to perform and they are entrusted to complete it.  Trust goes a long way in a team and any kind of relationship you have.  There are different levels of trust that we go through with people.  One of the life-giver rules is to trust people.  We can only trust people if we trust God fully.  He directs our path, so that when we decide to trust someone, it will be someone worthy of our trust as well as worthy of God’s trust.

The entry level of trust is the most courageous.  The above quote by Hemingway speaks of this first level we will call bold trust.  What is the difference between blind trust and bold trust?  Blind trust advocates that there is a component of naivety in the trust.  An example would be how a child trusts any adult.  Bold trust on the other hand is being deliberate with our trust to see if we can trust that person.  In other words, we are in control when we bold trust and out of control when we blind trust.  Bold trust brings hope to a relationship.  We are hoping the person we confide in is trustworthy.  The best way to make a step in bold trust is to trust the one who is trustworthy beyond all; and that is God.  If God is directing our paths, He will direct us to trustworthy individuals that will be a benefit to our lives.  A good example would be my dog Buddy.  I took a bold trust step in getting this big dog.  I didn’t know if he would work with our family or not.  I knew that he got along with our other dog Zoe, but I wasn’t sure how he would be with the rest of the family including myself.  I was willing to try and see what would happen and was not disappointed.  He is the most affectionate dog I have ever seen and very smart.  He is also very protective of his family.  The reason the bold trust step in getting him was I had a big dog not too long ago and he lost his head for some reason and became vicious and attacked me.  So, getting another big dog was a big concern.

The next level of trust is proven trust.  When the person passes the bold trust stage, they enter into the proven trust level.  They showed themselves to be trustworthy and so we can share more of our lives with them if we so choose.  This is the way God operates as well; He gives us a small task to see how we do and then gives us more if we do well.  God is not limited by our human judgment when it comes to trust.  He already knows whether we can be trustworthy or not.  The proven trust level happened with Buddy running unleashed.  It took me a month to finally unleash him for a full run with me.  He even was around other people and dogs and kept his focus.  He stayed with me and kept track of me as we ran.  It’s mutual as well, he trusts me as well.  Over time, proven trust builds to the next level.

The next and final level is faithful trust.  Faithful trust is constant as in a deep friendship or a great marriage.  Faithful trust means you could be completely open with a friend or a spouse.  You know judgment will not occur because it’s a shame free environment.  Being a faithful friend means you are there no matter what and you will always be there.  Our level of trust for God is to understand that it should be off the chain.  God is faithful and so very trustworthy.  What is parallel in these levels of trust is love.  Without the element of love, there can be no trust.  Love is what makes us take a step of bold trust.

The final thing I want to talk about is broken trust.  Trust can be broken at every one of these levels.  Broken trust can be one of the most hurtful things you can experience from a friend or a spouse.  The strength of your love toward that person can determine if the relationship can withstand the broken trust.  It also depends on how deep that broken trust is.  Forgiveness should always happen because God has forgiven us for so much; therefore, we have an obligation to forgive as well.  It frees us from the bondage of bitterness.  Whether your relationship continues is up to you, but forgiveness should always be the main thing you seek.

Bold trust, proven trust, and faithful trust have at the root of them love.  Love forgives and covers a multitude of sins as the bible says.  When trust is broken, it takes time to repair.  Trust is earned, but it has to be given to be earned.  Trusts as well as love are risky to our emotions.  When you can trust and love someone and know you can rely on that person, and that goes a long way.  That is something priceless.  I have no doubt my dog Buddy would attack someone if that person were to inflict harm on me.  Trust is always a two way street.  Always take the risk and trust and love, there is nothing stronger to bind us together.

[David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.


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