Makes You Think published on LDS Living – http://www.ldsliving.com/You-Are-Enough-How-We-Can-Improve-Our-Relationship-with-God-by-Trusting-Him-and-Ourselves/s/88334
A recently married couple shared everything they had, even their passwords to their emails. While this was initially a sign of trust, over time they gave into the fear most couples have and began asking themselves “Is my spouse faithful?” Instead of trusting their partner, they began checking each other’s emails and phones when the other was not looking for indications of unfaithfulness. Yes, there are times, when prompted to do this. Yet is this done because of lacking trust in self or in the other. And inevitably you find what you are looking for. When you only dwell on one idea, you become that idea. In this case, one partner cheated and the other found out and cheated too, just to get even. Their trust diminished and replaced with fear.
Trust is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe someone can’t be trusted, then there will be none given. Yet if you give more trust, you get more trust. Our natural man sees the negative and we have to work very hard to see the good. We often easily underestimate people’s sincerity or generosity and overestimate their selfishness. In these moments when we are controlled by our fear, our relationships can be harmed. We can become hardened, cynical, unhappy, and untrustworthy. Many of us consider trust risky, yet it is at the core of all relationships and without it there is no real connection. This is especially important in our relationship with God.
So how do we reverse our view of mistrust? In small ways, we teach ourselves to trust. In small steps, we can view things from a healthier perspective and expand our trust in others. Below are three ways to help us change our perspective and extend more trust in all aspects of our lives.
At times, we doubt ourselves and fear we aren’t good enough to the point where we try to prevent punishment, rejection, or shame, we try to hide what we have done. Then we live our life in fear, feeling we need to be in control of every situation. One way to combat this is to replace bad memories with good moments. Here are a few guidelines to help you increase your trust.
1. Identify your feelings and link them to a reason, i.e. I am angry because I fear loss.
2. Define your principles and live them. Are these feelings in alliance to your principles? If not, what needs to change?
3. Remind yourself that one wrong choice doesn’t mean you always make the wrong choices.
4. Believe that you can learn and grow from any choice you make by examining the advantages and disadvantages of the situation from everyone’s perspective.
With the understanding gained in this exercise, you can map out a way to act and view the next situation more in line with our principles, regardless of your fear. This is how you change. With recurring change and intentional focus on these steps, you begin to trust your own judgment, fear less, gain confidence, and see the truth of the situation. Trusting yourself is like building a muscle. You cannot get in shape in just one trip to the gym. It is a process. Every time you practice, your self-trust is strengthened. Try it and see for yourself.
Click here to read more about healing trust issues.
Make Trust Work for You
We can so easily get wrapped up in all the things that go wrong that we often no longer see the good. As a child, we trust everyone. Then, as life goes on, we are hurt and hurt again. We start losing faith that life and people can be good. Take a moment to imagine our life as a school, here to teach us what we need to learn to become our best selves. We learn so much more enduring hardship than when life is good. You can choose to view all experiences as for our growth or we can choose to view them with fear. According to the steps in trusting yourself, which perspective would be choosing trust—growth or fear?
For example, one teenage girl shares that she had a friend, Mary, who often asked to borrow something like jewelry or books. But Mary would not return the items, claiming they were hers. The teenager had also shared her struggles with Mary, and the next day, Mary had spread rumors about this teenager all over school.
What is our reaction? Do we consider Mary an enemy or do we view her as she really is: weak in some areas of her life but strong in others? Perhaps we just need to tell her no when she wants to borrow something and perhaps share our secrets with someone who will keep them secret. None of us are perfect, but we can decipher who to trust and how much. Just like our muscle example in trusting ourselves, we pick exercises that gain insight and confidence in order to make better choices; the same happens with trusting people and we see the limits of trusting others, whether the limits are small or great.
Trust God Not Man
We live in a world of changing values and constant skepticism. Often, we are overwhelmed when we see or hear about something horrific happening. We ask why God would allow this to happen. In the face of human error, we can easily forget that God gave all of us our agency.
God gave us a gift, and He will not take it away from some or only give it to a few who use it well. As difficult as it sometimes is for us to understand, God, at times, uses tragedy to bring a deeper connection to Him and to each other. Yet through this, He does not leave us alone. In the midst of pain and suffering, we need to seek to remember His purpose in pain. If we feel forsaken, we can put our trust in our Lord and He can show us understanding that will heal us.
For our part, we need to find this understanding by analyzing. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Who is really responsible for the offense? Was the offense intentional or accidental?
2. What is the real problem? For example, an official from the church caused harm but even though there were protections and protocol, he found a way around them. The real problem is not the situation but the weaknesses of the person’s own addictions. He or she, after all, is only a person making a decision, not a church making a decision.
3. Can we stop more harm? A person doesn’t just decide to do cause harm; a lot of conscious destructive thoughts lead to poor decisions. That is why we read scriptures, pray often, and try to be guided by the Spirit, for guidance to choose a better direction.
4. Are people the real villain? We are all influenced by the world around us, which is heavily saturated with Satan’s influence. How many of us are duped by Satan? People are often not the evil in the situation, just weak enough to be influenced poorly, especially if they do not consistently read scriptures, attend church, and associate with people who make good decisions. We are here to experience Satan’s influence but to choose God over that influence. And God gave us steps on how to succeed: The gospel. We are not alone, and we can trust God to show us how to combat evil influences.
“I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance” (1 Nephi 1:20).
The Lord can deliver us from Satan’s influence if we choose humility. We can choose to ask for understanding. We can choose to listen. And we can choose to put our trust in God.
Check out more from Kristena:
Add some scripture power to your counting practice! With gorgeous artwork, interactive text, and stories from the Book of Mormon, this board book is perfect for little learners. Whether you bring it with you to church or read it together at bedtime, you can “count” on hours of fun with your kids as you learn precious scripture truths together! Book of Mormon 1-2-3s is available at Deseret Book stores and on deseretbook.com.
Image titleFrom ONE true Church to FOUR visits from the Angel Moroni, have fun counting aloud with your children with this picture book. Introduce them to the stories of Joseph Smith and the Restoration as you begin building the foundation for their testimonies! Prophet Joseph’s 1-2-3s is available at Deseret Book stores and on deseretbook.com.
The author has written other books. The Mission Journal is more than just for missionaries; it has inspirational thoughts, lessons on communication, and how to effectively study the scriptures.
ONE STEP AT A TIME!