Thursday, July 3, 2014

Trust: That's the Real Issue

My friend got a new puppy this past weekend. Her children feel in love with little Wrangler and her and her husband thought he was adorable, too. They had gotten him from a family at church who knew they couldn't care for the puppies once they were weaned. My friend and her children bought all the supplies they would need for this new little puppy and made sure to ask about the current food the young pup was eating so they could get the same and maintain a familiar diet.

When the family brought the little dog home, they found it cute that he would try to suckle on an ear and cuddled in my friend's hair. The first night home, though, the small puppy whined and cried for a good part of the night. The next morning, she and I were chatting on Facebook and she told me the puppy wouldn't eat the dog food. A typical 8-10 week old puppy would eat small portions about two times a day, so I tried to help her nail down what the problem could be. As we discussed what the previous owners had fed him, my friend told me the pup was actually only four weeks old and had been weaned for a week already! 
I knew that wasn't right and we headed over to the local pet store to seek more professional advice. We learned that the owners, even though they were from her church, had actually jeopardized the health of the puppy and his littermates by weaning them so early. After purchasing milk supplement as recommended by the in-house veterinarian, my friend went home and fed the milk with dry food soaked in it to their young dog. Well, that little guy gobbled it all up! I'm sure he was feeling confused and now was relieved and had a full belly. But I began thinking about how trusting we are of people and what shapes that.
Fueled by the mistrust my friend felt of this lady from church, I asked my Facebook friends if they were more or less trusting of other Christians. Sadly, many said they were no more trusting of fellow Christians than they were of non-believers. A few said they were more trusting, but that having that level of trust had also led to let-downs and disappointments because some Christians had abused that trust.
We are called to be set apart and different from the world! But how can we be different when we look just like the world? The world says one thing to gain our trust and then changes it when they've got what they wanted. Some Christians are like that. The lady who gave my friend the puppy wanted the puppies GONE, and that was her agenda, her motive. As Christians we should hold each other to a higher standard! Proverbs 27:17 says we are to sharpen the countenance of our friends just as iron sharpens iron.

Our experiences with trust, especially with other Believers, prepare us for our next opportunity to trust, too. While my friend is hurt and disappointed in the dishonesty of the previous owners, it is also an opportunity for my friend to grow and maybe even gently and lovingly correct the woman and show her that she abused my friend's trust.
Today, we have a choice when our trust has been broken. We can sulk and be hurt and begin to build a wall that says, "I'll never trust again!" Or we can take that opportunity, knowing that trust goes along with integrity, and share with the one who wronged us that honesty and truthfulness is best. 
Jesus was betrayed, the trust He had of Judas broken. Yet he didn't let that scar him and cause him to create a barrier so he would never be hurt again, did he? We can't make people stop breaking our trust, but we can stop the way we respond to it.


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