In recent conversations the idea of trust has come up over and over and over. Trust in marital relationships. Trust in business connections. Trust with friends to do what they said they will do.
Trust in small group settings and hearing people wrestle with why there isn’t more authenticity and life being shared…trust.
People will share to the degree that they trust you, but there others who advocate for transparency and openness. They want accountability and want you to dump everything on the table at once. Earlier I shared thoughts on the challenges of accountability and how to make them work.
This post however would be an encouragement to those who are wondering how to go about building trust and helping people drop the waterline in their life.
1. Appropriate Trust Awareness.
If people are choosing not to share things in their life take that as a sign of maturity that they take confidential information seriously and aren’t flippant with who they share with or what they share. Life is complicated and we are meant to be in relationship…but they take time. The illustration of life as an onion with a lot of layers is true and you don’t peel all the layers at once. They come apart slowly to be best enjoyed. Accountability groups tend to encourage a back the truck up and dump mentality. It seems that spiritual growth is slower and more like a good roast in a crock pot. It takes time but everyone loves the result.
2. Be Willing to Go First.
One of the greatest illustrations that stuck with me is the picture of an iceberg that only has 10% of its totality exposed above water. Over time we often talk about dropping the waterline. In order to help people know what this looks like you need to model that. We just got back from Seattle and we visited the Locks where boats go in and out.
We stood there for a while watching this process occur. It took time but it was worth it. Too quick and the boats in the Lock would have been overwhelmed with a wall of water that was being held back by the gates. In a lock there are usually other boaters in the Lock with you and if the analogy were to continue, if you’re willing to bring people along and take them on the journey with you when the gates open they will be willing to chart more open waters with you and trust you with more.
Accountability groups encourage a do more try harder attitude addressed here but they also encourage a dump everything on the table mentality. Instead, look to Jesus and have people point you to Jesus and learn the value of appropriate trust.