Forgiveness vs. Trust

Forgiveness vs Trust

Every leader navigates forgiving people and trusting them. Have you been there?

This is an ongoing challenge that requires wisdom, patience, and skill. How we handle this can bring peace and growth or chaos and strife.

Being a leader gives influence and responsibility, which means, we have to do what’s best for everyone and not just us. This is not easy because when it involves forgiveness and trust, it can be personal. When it’s personal we can get tunnel vision and forget the bigger purpose as a leader.
But being a leader gives us the chance to rise higher and respond to build the team and lead everyone forward.

So, does forgiveness and trust mean the same thing?

The answer is no.

Biblically the Bible does NOT tell us to trust people but it does tell us to forgive people.

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”

Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭13

This is a huge part of our faith and being a healthy leader.

But it’s not easy.

If we don’t forgive we’re trapped in the person and we’re stuck in the moment. This stalls forward progress as a leader and eventually, our heart gets filled with the wrong stuff.

However, when we forgive we’re freed from the person and the situation. We are empowered to move forward and grow from it versus being defined by it.

This is a must as leaders and we need to be good at forgiving people.

But, forgiving them doesn’t mean we trust them. In some cases, we shouldn’t trust them until they earn it back. This is a healthy boundary that must be in place to move forward. It’s also possible for trust to be so broken, it can’t be repaired.

Of course, not every situation is the same, but when trust has been broken, we can forgive and wait for trust to be rebuilt.

This is important for us as leaders because we must trust others and navigate healthy boundaries to build healthy teams.

So, here are three ways to walk out forgiveness and trust.

1st – Choose to forgive.

This is a choice, not a feeling. It’s obeying God’s word and giving to others what He freely gave to us.

We don’t forgive because they deserve it. We forgive because we’ve been forgiven. We lead through Jesus and His ways. This is how we thrive and this is how we become Christ-centered leaders.

Do you need to forgive anyone today? Please do it and move forward.

I remember one morning I was praying and I forgave leaders who hurt me. At that moment, I cried, as I felt the sting lift off of me and I was free. Since then I have made a regular practice of praying for those who have wronged me and forgiving those that have hurt me.

You can do this too.

2nd – Give specifics on how to build trust.

This is huge. When someone is trying to rebuild trust with us, we must give them clear things to do. We can’t be vague and have a cloud hang over their head. This isn’t good leadership and it’s a no-win situation.

Instead, we give them clear practical steps to rebuild our trust which gives clarity to them and us. It becomes measurable which gives a path forward.

Too many times people who have been hurt don’t give clarity on what is needed to rebuild trust. This causes tension which causes both parties to be stuck. This isn’t healthy.

But where there’s clarity and practicality, steps can be taken to rebuild trust and move forward.

Have you done this yet? It’s big in moving forward.

3rd – Process your feelings with someone.

When we process our feelings with a trusted person, we’re able to get through them and more importantly know how we’re feeling.

When we know how we feel we can process ourselves and others accurately. This is vital as a leader because we can’t afford to be out of control.

Processing feelings is ongoing and needed. We must humble ourselves to open up and share what’s going on inside of us. This is what leaders do.

Who is in your life that you can process your feelings with?

Talking things out helps get them out. Talking things out helps us move out of where we are, and into where we’re supposed to be.

Forgiveness vs. Trust is something we’re going to navigate, so let’s do it well, and let’s do it through Jesus.

God is with you and the best is yet to come,


Pastor David Norris

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