You spent months with this person, building trust, only for the trust to be broken in what feels like an instant. Let’s talk about how to rebuild broken trust.
I know how hard it is to walk through broken trust and also the steps and time it takes to try and rebuild trust when your heart is hurting.
Trust is a topic we discuss in my Spiritual Growth Mentorship and discuss in our Voxer thread with each other.
Sometimes trust isn’t broken in an instant, though, but slowly over time. Someone continues to say one thing, but their actions prove another. Sometimes their words are what we cling to the most, hoping for change. However, their actions are what often speak the truth.
We see when trust is broken because we slowly stop sharing our feelings.
We slowly stop wanting to communicate because we may wonder what’s the point.
Slowly we think, “When did I stop mattering to this person?”
Until we feel as though we can’t trust them anymore.
How to rebuild broken trust with God’s help starts with acknowledging your mistakes and seeking forgiveness.
Finding Strength and Guidance from God on How to Rebuild Broken Trust
Trust is broken in many ways between friends, family, spouses, and children. Each requires different levels of restoration and willingness between both parties. (I am thankful that God is always with us, walking us through how to continue to keep our love on for people despite the hurt we feel.)
When I am learning how to rebuild broken trust from a friend after hearing what they were saying about me, I have to recognize, pray, and discern between ending the friendship for both of us to be healthy moving forward or if establishing new boundaries will help repair our friendship moving forward.
When a family member continues to show me I can’t trust them with my pain, hurt, or feelings, I have to recognize where they are and know that boundaries will be important moving forward, and maybe a certain degree of reconciliation can happen. We learn how to rebuild broken trust with God’s help, it’s important to let go of bitterness and anger and focus on cultivating love and compassion.
David knew betrayal and spoke from experience, having been betrayed many times by those close to him (see Psalm 41:9). Instead of becoming bitter or regarding all people as untrustworthy and not worth his time, he learned and taught a simple truth: sinful people will fail us, but we can always trust in God.
David’s son, Solomon, learned that lesson well and added to it, saying that it’s better to trust God than to trust our own minds (Proverbs 3:5–6).
It’s easy to swear off relationships, want to retaliate, build walls, and say never again. We usually don’t want to learn how to rebuild broken trust. However, it’s important we learn that though others will fail us at times, and we ourselves are not always trustworthy, we can and should still trust people to varying degrees. Without trust, a true relationship is impossible.
David had every chance to kill Saul, who was hunting him down after serving him for years, but he didn’t. He chose to honor. God wasn’t just honoring Saul he was honoring God despite the betrayal he felt.
It is precisely because we know that God will never fail us that we can trust others.
Our ultimate security is in Him, so we are free to trust others and experience the joy it brings. Trusting others is almost inseparable from loving others. True intimacy can only be achieved through honesty and trust. It requires trust to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).
It takes trust to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16) and share about our needs (James 5:14; Romans 12:15). Trust is necessary in any number of human relationships, and especially for the healthy functioning of the family of Christ.
Building a stronger relationship with God through regular prayer, Bible study, and attending church services can also help to us learn how to rebuild broken trust and restore faith.
We also learn how to rebuild broken trust with God’s help by learning how it’s important to take responsibility for your actions and to work to make things right. By seeking God’s wisdom and guidance, you can learn how to rebuild broken trust in a way that honors both God and the person you have hurt.
The Role of Forgiveness in How We Rebuild Broken Trust
Repairing broken trust in relationships starts with three things:
The first step to repairing any relationship hurt is forgiveness.
Forgiveness is always given because Christ forgave us.
Yet, trust is earned.
As you learn how to rebuild broken trust, it’s important for both parties to discuss reconciliation. Do you both want to restore this relationship?
Remember that forgiveness is between you and God. Forgiveness takes one person, and that’s you. However, reconciliation takes two people. You and the other person involved. Learning how to rebuild trust will also take learning how to forgive.
Faith-Based Strategies for Healing and Learning How to Repair Trust
The Bible has a lot to say about trust and how to rebuild it. Here are some biblical principles and practices that can help in rebuilding trust.
Confess your wrongdoing: Admitting fault is the first step in rebuilding trust. Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
Apologize sincerely: Saying sorry is not enough; it needs to be sincere and genuine. James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Learning how to rebuild broken trust takes humility when saying sorry.
Make restitution: If you have caused harm, make things right by offering restitution. Leviticus 6:5 says, “It must be returned in full, plus a penalty of 20 percent. In this way, the priest will make atonement for the wrongdoer, and the person will be forgiven.” We don’t live under the law anymore because it is fulfilled but the lesson is the same. Make right of our wrongdoing.
Be accountable: Being accountable means taking responsibility for your actions and being open to oversight. Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors, there is safety.”
Practice humility: Pride can get in the way of how we rebuild broken trust. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Show consistent behavior: Learning how to rebuild broken trust takes time and requires consistent behavior over a period of time. Proverbs 20:6 says, “Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?”
Pray for guidance: We can learn how to rebuild broken trust through the guidance and strength of God. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
I know repairing broken trust is not easy. Time will help begin to rebuild what was broken. However, with time, it will take intentional steps to rebuild trust. The depth we experience healing is the depth we turn to the Lord and walk out His love for us.
Learn more about repairing broken trust in my course Spiritual Growth Mentorship.
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Praying for you,