Dr. Rovert H. Schuller told the following story.
I remember a time when our son Bob broke our trust and lied to his mother and me. He was still young, dating Linda, his wife-to-be, and was only allowed to see her on certain nights. Well, one night he wanted to see her without permission and told us he was at his friend’s house. When we found out the truth, there was a real scene between us. He had violated our trust; it was like a crack in a fine cup that marred its appearance.
In the confrontation, I smashed a fine English tea cup on the floor and told Bob that to restore our trust would be like gluing that cup back together again. He said, “I don’t know if I can do that.” And I said, “Well, that’s how hard it is to build confidence and trust again.” The outcome was that Bob spent literally weeks carefully gluing the pieces together until he finished. He learned a very important lesson.
How do you rebuild trust after it has been broken?
An age old question that has left many destroyed in its wake. The usual end result is frustration and coming to the conclusion it is an impossible feat to reconstruct relationships, after they have been decimated by the hurricane of broken trust.
However, there is hope and it is not an impossibility. Here are a few pointers to help the reconciliation process and rebuild the relationship to be even stronger than before.
- In order to restore trust you have to stop arguing about the details of the past and start talking about the design/blueprint for the future.
Arguing about what happened yesterday and focusing on who is at fault becomes an endless and futile venture. It yields nothing positive for the future. Concentrating on the past removes all ability to build a future.
- You will never rebuild trust on the ashes of the past.
You have to replace your view of the past with a vision for the future and realize it’s going to take time to rebuild that trust! Speak more about where you are going instead of where you have been. In other words, fix NOW so you have a FUTURE.
- Don’t make a monument to your failures and give your past permission to ruin your future.
Stop making it as reference points in the life whether in your own life or the other person’s. Throw away the black book! A fatal mistake is revisiting the monuments of the past as if they occurred yesterday when in reality it could have been 20 years ago. Let it go and never go back!
- Don’t allow the Devil to trap you in a world of misery that you cannot change.
Satan’s favorite place to visit is a person’s past. If he can lead you there and get you to build a house and dwell there – it will be a world of total misery. Nothing changes in that world. The best policy is to leave it and close the door and throw away the key!
- Go through the Cross and forget the past’s existence, because the future is waiting.
One of the most powerful phrases a person can utter is “I’m sorry.” Contained in those heartfelt words is someone expressing personal responsibility, remorse, and a desire to correct. If backed up with corresponding actions, you will witness and experience the transition from a mess produced by self, to becoming a message produced by grace.
Remember, Jesus gave us all a second chance and probably a lot more if we were honest. Why not invest the effort today to restore that broken relationship and rebuild something that will testify of God’s greatness. I promise it will be worth it!
And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.
Let’s follow his example.