Spirituality for Today – Summer 2017 – Volume 21, Issue 5

Whom Do You Trust?

Rev. Raymond Petrucci

Am I able to trust you with a secret? Am I able to trust you at all? One virtue that must be shared between individuals both in personal and business relationships is trustworthiness. Many motives provide the energy behind a mutual enterprise, but success is fashioned by an environment of trust among all involved. From our youth, trust has been an important issue in inter-relational actions. Children make grandiose declarations of their capacity for trust. Teenagers challenge their parents to trust them to be responsible with increased freedom. The truth of the matter is revealed by a person being honest with themselves concerning their actual trustworthiness. Frustratingly, a person often does not know how trustworthy he is in the face of temptations and circumstances that test their personal belief in their worthiness of being trusted. How difficult it is to be a fair judge of one's character and personality as well as that of others.

The best way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them.

Ernest Hemingway

Many levels of social status are affected by being deemed to be untrustworthy. Think about how you regard those in your life that you trusted and then discovered that they betrayed your trust. How did you feel about them and how you would deal with them in the future? I would think that you would be wary in your relationship with them. If possible, you would avoid them altogether or limit the areas of mutual activity. Trust is a building block of a successful society; the lack of it leads to alienation among its members. Reflecting on this, we are brought to that age old questions of knowing whom we can trust and just how trustworthy are we.

One approach to appreciating the weightiness of the question of trustworthiness is to ponder deeply the significance of trust either given or taken. When we are entrusted with something, we are branded, as it were, either with a golden star of admiration or an indelible mark of betrayal. How personal can this quality of trust be? Human history praises those who have "completed the mission," came through" for those who depended on them, and "sacrificed" themselves in order to save others. Terms like "traitorous" or "betrayal" have become personified by receiving the label of being a "Benedict Arnold" or a "Judas." In response to these demonstrations of the importance of trust, one cannot be criticized for trying to avoid being trusted with anything. Yet, the characterization of being worthy of trust is a criterion of greatness in a person.

When you think about the idea of trust and the blessing of trust placed in you, the zenith of such feelings belongs to the relationship between the Creator and the created. We trust in God's promises; we trust in Jesus' victory over sin and death and of our participation in that victory. No power on earth can destroy that "new and eternal covenant" that Jesus established. The other part of this manifestation of trust is represented in the trust God has in us. Yes, we, as God's children, participate in the mission of proclaiming the gospel. This missionary work greets us with every dawn, beckoning us to fulfill our role and keeping Jesus and his promises visible to the yearning world.

Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone's face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in the world and the life to come.

Henri Nouwen

I pray that God is able to find in us individuals who can be trusted to do our part in living our faith. We trust that God will hear our contrite hearts call out to him in sorrow for our sins, pray to him for inspiration and wisdom in facing the evils of this age, and worship him with the totality of our being. Be at peace. We know whom to trust.