“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” David Porter

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

In love and in life, our vulnerability is one of our greatest strengths. We often believe that we risk too much by being vulnerable, but, in fact, the opposite is true. When we build a wall around us to protect ourselves from our big, bad fears, we miss out on so much.

When we live with the mindset that something may be taken from us (physically or emotionally), or that we need to be in control of everything that happens, we endure fear on a daily basis.

It’s exhausting to live this way. It makes us cynical, suspicious, and unable to follow our hearts because we are afraid of what might happen.

So what exactly are we protecting ourselves from when our walls are up?

Fear of rejection
Fear of being ridiculed
Fear of failure
Fear of being wrong
Fear of committing ourselves and having to follow through
Fear of being taken advantage of …

These fears are so normal that, unless we become self-aware, they can permeate our everyday interactions. It’s not just about trusting people either, but also life situations and opportunities that come our way. When the barriers are up, our lives become needlessly limited.

We don’t bother talking to that person because we’re certain they won’t be interested in a date. We don’t show how much we care about a person because we’re afraid they won’t love us back. We don’t go for that job or that course because we’re scared we won’t get an interview.

Nobody likes to feel exposed, but if you are someone who has suffered at the hands of betrayal, trust issues become even further magnified.

Learning to be vulnerable after deep pain can feel impossible. But it doesn’t have to be. If you consciously choose to stay open and trusting, you will find that your world changes for the better in ways you may never have imagined.

Of course, it is always right to use our instincts as our guide. You should never set yourself up to be shot down emotionally by someone who doesn’t deserve your trust. But equally, you should not let negative past experiences allow you to believe that it’s not safe to trust again.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

I was speaking to a woman a few months ago and this is the story she gave me. I was surprised to hear a person open up to me in that manner. Within myself I thought why me? Something clicked and reminded me that I am a minister and servant of the people. She said her ex-husband left her three years ago after having an affair. She told me it cut deeply, but she healed and moved on.

She said that now she is in love with a man who was also cheated on, by his ex-wife. When they got together, the bond they found at the beginning was never one of bitterness and mutual wallowing, and that was a big attraction for them.

It could have been so easy for their common ground to be past pain, but they had so much more. What they have now is an amazing relationship filled with love and trust; but that only comes from allowing yourself to be vulnerable, despite what has happened in your past.

She told me they could never have found each other or shared such depth of love if they had protective walls built up.

Because she is so happy now, her joy makes her very aware of all that she could have been missing, had she let any of the big, bad fears stop her from finding love again.

She had to restore trust in my ex-husband because he is the father of her children. When someone has betrayed you, she continued, it can be easy to see their every act, decision, or motive as suspicious in some way. But to do so is to build up that wall again, which blocks the possibility of positive as well as negative outcomes.

She had to trust that he wants the same as her when it comes to their children, and dare to be vulnerable and speak up when things are not right for them. As a result, they have handled the divorce and the changes to their lives relatively smoothly.

In order to get to a place where you are comfortable being vulnerable and trusting a person or situation, you must first be honest with yourself.

It is not weak to admit to ourselves that we fear rejection. Better to admit that than to tell yourself, “She’s not my type,” “I don’t have the time/money to do that course,” or “Men can’t be trusted.”

Once we look the big, bad Fears in the eye and see they are simply trying to protect us from being hurt, we can simply say, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’d like to see what’s beyond that wall.” That’s why Joshua had to rely on the plan of God to see what was in Jericho but first the walls had to come down. I will minister on that subject one day.  I trust you understand what this message is all about today.

Your servant and brother,
+  Godfrey Gregg DD


Author: Godfrey Gregg