No Honesty Without Trust

No Honesty Without Trust

Telling the truth is not usually an easy thing to do. Remember when you were a kid and you did something wrong? Remember when mom or dad or a teacher asked you to ‘fess up? You knew what telling the truth meant. It was a risk then, and it still is.

Telling the truth can mean risking censure. Or destroying a friendship. Or having to labor to fix what we’ve broken. Or hurting someone’s feelings.

It’s risky, always has been, always will be. And, interestingly enough, the one person we tend to lie to more than anyone else is – you guessed it! – ourselves.

Telling on ourselves is exceedingly risky. We risk having to admit that we’re not as awesome as we thought we were. That we’ve made mistakes, even serious mistakes, as parents, as friends, as co-workers, as followers of Jesus.

Looking at ourselves in a soul-mirror can be cringeworthy indeed! We may not like the person that we find there. What we see in that reflection may be hateful, unforgiving, gossipy, overly-ambitious, inconsiderate, unkind, and on and on it goes. We don’t like to believe this about ourselves, but God is continually calling us to a deep and honest self-examination.

The great equalizer here is trust. If we’re wise, we don’t bare our souls to many people because becoming truly transparent requires a deep trust for our confessors. Some people will use our weaknesses against us. Others may gloat in their own moral superiority or even look down upon our failures. That’s one of the truly tragic things I’ve witnessed in couples who are divorcing: they often use their spouse’s deepest secrets against them. And it is excruciatingly painful to watch bitterness reign in a scorned person.

But a true friend won’t do that. A friend sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24) and the wounds of a true friend are faithful (Proverbs 27:6). If you’re blessed to have someone like that in your life –  a true friend – then you are blessed indeed.

But understand this, Jesus is our greatest friend. On the night that He was betrayed, He told His disciples, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

Jesus is a real friend, a faithful friend. His wounds are always faithful – meant to heal us and make us more like He is. We can confess everything to Him honestly because He is trustworthy. It’s only when we confess what we are that He can begin to make us what He wants us to become.

 

For consideration . . .

  • Do you find it hard to open up to others because your trust has been misused in the past? Does some of that extend to your relationship with God? Do you trust Him in all areas of your life?
  • Trust requires risk. The great equalizer here, though, is the faithfulness and goodness of God. Think about his faithfulness to you throughout the years. Consider how He’s been with you through the storms of your life to bring you to the place you are now. Considering the faithfulness of God will make us more trusting and willing to risk being gut-wrenchingly honest.
  • Jesus says we’re more than mere servants, we’re His friends. Is that How you see your relationship with Him? Not familiar or irreverent in any way, but warm and caring?
  • I love the Proverb that says the “wounds of a true friend are faithful” (Proverbs 27:6). A true friend will tell us what we need to hear because he or she loves us and wants us to be spiritually healthy. They love us more than their relationship with us and they’re willing to risk that relationship to tell us the truth. And sometimes the truth is hard to hear. It hurts. But remember, the “wounds of a true friend are faithful” wounds because God uses them to make us more like Jesus. Which wounds, though hurtful at the time, has God used to help you grow in your walk with Him?
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Comments

  1. The loss of my first marriage 7 years ago and its pain-filled aftermath revealed NUMEROUS idols in my own life.God tore them from my hands in a mighty act of mercy. He knew I was far too entrenched to ever relinquish them voluntarily. I did not trust His way initially, so He allowed gut-wrenching sickness to bring me to a daily posture of surrender. His pain held redemptive purpose. There was no place left to go but to the foot of the cross. My friendship with Him had been sorely neglected, but He didn’t hold it against me. Instead, He showered me with unconditional love. Four months later my courtship with Pastor Dave began. My Heavenly Father used him to show me what godly servant-leadership would look like in covenant commitment. It is impossible for me to be woman God wants me to become without dependence upon His Spirit for empowerment. Trusting in His goodness and meeting Him each morning is where I fuel up for the day. Matt.28:20 chases away all fear…

  2. Kathryn Boisvert : November 2, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    I’m not kidding when I say where do I begin? Coming from a dysfunctional home which as my husband wisely has put it everyone is coming from a dysfunctional home but coming from a alcoholic home (my mom being second generation alcoholic); behavior only) I have had many things over the years ( I’ve walked with the Lord 37 years) that God has had to correct me on. I definitely have trouble in relationships. I’m just saying I’m being honest here! I sometimes go into relationships with high expectations only to realize I have no right to expect these things from people. I lived with a ton of criticism and I find that being manifest in me, which is horrible. I know the Lord is not criticsl, does not judge. I’m constantly repenting of this attitude; I weary of myself!😆 I’m thankful that he is faithful and he will not leave me the way I am. Daily my mind is being renewed. And I am a new creature in Christ. These truths bring me hope !

  3. Trust. Not an easy thing for me. Although I trust the Lord and confess to Him, and open up to Him my hearts desires and hurts, truly trusting others most times seems unwise like paragraph 6 describes. The first 4 sentences of that paragraph pretty much sums up my thoughts on that matter. Sad? Maybe. Self-preservation? Probably. Risky? Definitely.

  4. I have found in my own spiritual walk that the Lord has never taken me down the easy road. Right out of the gate in my Christian experience I was forced to trust and learned early on I could lean and depend on His faithfulness. Maybe that is why I have a tenacity and resolve to remain open and honest in His presence. Don’t misunderstand, God has had to take me behind the wood shed on a number of occasions which as I look back has developed in me a genuine desire to strive to be in His will for me.

  5. Words from one of my favorite Andrew Peterson songs “No More Faith”

    “Have you ever heard that Jesus is the answer
    And thought about the many doubts you hide
    Have you wondered how he loves you
    If He really knows how dark you are inside”

    This is true – He knows us and still loves us.

  6. While I really like the title of this blog, No Honesty without Trust and I agree that it is difficult for me to be truly honest about my personal life without trusting the person I am sharing it with. But the opposite seems to be true as well No Trust without Honesty. For me when I begin to share my life with someone and all that God is revealing to me and through me I usually take it very slow and build trust slowly. I’ve met people who I didn’t know very well and right out of the gate they share their most intimate secret thinking, “Well I have to be honest.” But when there is no rapport that kind of honesty can push people away from us. I go to a lot of recovery meetings where people sometimes bare their souls and if done right can be very freeing for those sharing and listening and sometimes it can be inappropriate. For me agreeing with God can be the most challenging form of honesty.

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