Innocent and Sober Trust

Guest Blog by Richard “Rick” Landon, D. Min.

Trust is one of those words and concepts that we seem to use regularly and without much clarity or distinction. We trust our spouse, the bank, the car to start and we trust Jesus.  Some folks seem to trust easily whereas others expect someone or an organization to earn their trust.  I have come to think of at least two types of trust.  The first is what I’ve called “innocent trust.”  It is that trust that comes most easily.  It is trusting someone or some organization because they have given us no reason to be suspicious or not to trust them.  Some folks have so much innocent trust that they get hurt easily by their naivete.   The other type of trust, I call “sober trust.”  This type of  expects someone or an organization to earn their trust.  It is the type of trust that must be earned when someone has given others reasons to be suspicious of them.  If a spouse has had an affair, for example, there will no longer be any innocent trust.  That type of trust is gone and can’t be recovered.  However, if the offending spouse will work at being trustworthy, he or she may earn sober trust.  Sober trust has lost its innocence. However the person may be willing to trust again, but with a much more sober view of reality.  Sober trust is hard work and will involve the grief of loosing innocent trust.   How does one earn sober trust?  It may be earned one day at a time as the offending person gives evidence of his/her trustworthiness and the other person must be willing to take the risks that are part of trusting.

Richard “Rick”  Landon, D. Min., is the Director of the Interfaith Counseling Center in Lexington, KY. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, pastoral counseling educator and spiritual director. He and his wife are Member Care Counselors with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship working with mission families in Europe. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky and the Lexington Theological Seminary. His educational background includes a doctoral degree in Pastoral Counseling, master’s degrees in Education Psychology and Divinity, and a bachelor degree in Psychology. Connect with Rick here

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