Our lives are full of relationships – best friends, spouses, exes, neighbors, co-workers – and those relationships can be complicated. Relationships are messy, and love can be hard. So how do we have good ones? And get over bad ones? During this series, we’ll give you the secret to strong and thriving relationships in every area of your life.
How did you learn the most important lesson in your life?
Learning and Earning Trust
This week’s message continues our Crazy, Stupid Love series. The focus for the series is that all relationships get better when we do them God’s way. The target mindset that we’re looking for is Jesus. The best thing that can happen to you is not just that you’re in church, but that Jesus is working within you and actively changing you.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Before marriage, keep your eyes wide open; but afterwards, half shut.” Is there a relationship that you can think of where during the first few months, you were totally “lovestruck” and were blind to all of the “red flags”? What were the red flags, and how did you come to notice them?
Have someone read Proverbs 25:14. Gene shared that if there’s a person in your life that talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk, that’s a red flag, and that person probably isn’t too trustworthy. A person’s character is important to examine when building relationships. Are they a man or woman of their word? This is when it’s important to have open eyes, so we can keep a lookout for red flags. Is there a relationship you need to open or reopen your eyes to?
Gene also shared this fact: Half of all relationships end in the first 90 days… Why? … Because they find out some new information about this person that forces them to take a second look. Investing in the three T’s (talking and togetherness over time) is important to learn a person’s character and get to know them to be able to begin to build trust.
Have someone read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Once we take the next step and trust people, we have to remind ourselves, they’re human just like me. This means they aren’t perfect and will eventually mess up. Paul wrote this passage to show how to sustain trust. Because once we have trusted and built that love, it will prompt a deeper trust, forgiveness and healing. Gene shared a great practice to sustain trust; Trust feelings grow out of the qualities you choose to focus on. So, if you are focusing on all the shortcomings and weaknesses of the other person, that is all you will see, and you will begin to lose trust. Is there a relationship in your life where you need to reposition your perspective and put the focus on the other person’s strengths rather than their weaknesses?
Gene shared that when rebuilding trust that has been broken, we need to be quick to forgive but slow to trust. Have someone read Ephesians 4:32. Jesus is the perfect example of forgiveness, by becoming the ultimate sacrifice for me and you. Share this reminder with your group
Forgiveness is past oriented… Trust is future oriented.
Forgiveness means letting go… Trust means holding on.
Forgiveness is undeserved… Trust is earned.
Gene also shared this little nugget of wisdom, “Let your trust be seasoned with grace,” This means that when someone lets us down, we don’t immediately write them off; we approach with grace and understanding. Depending on their response, it’ll give you more insight if they’re ready to be trusted again. Little by little you will see the trust begin to be rebuilt. Is there someone in your life you need to forgive? Or is there someone God is calling you to slow your trust with?
What relationship is God calling you to either slow your trust and get to know this person better, refocus your view of someone, or extend some forgiveness and grace?
Break into groups of 2-3 and pray that God would aid you in your relationships by opening your eyes to what level of trust you are in and where you may need to slow down and get to know another better, refocus and prioritize the good, or forgive.