Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:16-20
It would be wonderful if we could have perfect relationships where trust is never broken, but alas, we are human. I bet that many of us don’t have to think very long or hard about the last time our trust was shattered. Maybe a loved one lied to us or maybe someone told a secret we asked them to keep. Maybe a spouse cheated or said something hurtful or perhaps a friend just wasn’t there when we really needed their support. There are many forms of betrayal and as the old saying goes, trust takes years to build, but can be destroyed in seconds. When it is broken, we may be left with a deep and unsettling pain at even the mention of the offender’s name.
So what happens when trust is broken? Is it possible to restore and rebuild it? Throughout scripture, we are told that we are to forgive those who have harmed us. This is as much for our own benefit as it is for the other person’s; it prevents us from harboring, resentment and bitterness, which can eat away at us. But forgiveness doesn’t restore the relationship entirely; more is needed.
Today’s scripture says that God has given us a ministry of reconciliation. We are called to reconcile relationships and rebuild trust whenever we can. While we can forgive someone regardless of how they feel, true reconciliation is extremely difficult or even impossible if people aren’t willing to take responsibility for their actions and acknowledge the pain they have caused. It is only after one faces the consequences of his or her actions that there is any hope of rebuilding trust.
Yet it is possible to rebuild trust, even after the most painful betrayals, if both people decide it is worth it to put in the effort. It may take a long time, but we can learn to trust someone again. With the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can reconcile and perhaps even come to appreciate one another more.
Today, I invite you to think about a relationship in your life that may need reconciliation and healing. Pray for wisdom on how you might live into God’s ministry of reconciliation.
“To be trusted is an even greater compliment than being loved.” – George MacDonald