Trust . . . Takes Seconds to Break, Forever to Repair.

Lynda Freeman —  October 27, 2011

Last week I posted about trust . . . it takes years to build . . .  and shared ideas on how to build trust with the children, parents and volunteers in your ministry. Today I want to think about how to repair broken trust.

We are people. We are imperfect. We say and do things which hurt others and breaks trust. So, what do we do when we have “broken” trust with someone else? Consider the following . . .

  • be accountable: immediately and sincerely admit what you have done and ask for forgiveness as soon as you realize you have hurt another person. Jesus said in Matthew 5:23, 24 – “23So if you are about to place your gift on the altar and remember that someone is angry with you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. Make peace with that person, then come back and offer your gift to God.” (CEV) Far too often – more than we might like to admit – we are careless with our words, we jump to conclusions and misjudge others. These things can cause great pain to others. Jesus said when we do this to stop everything and go make peace with the person we offended. Be accountable immediately.
  • pray with and for the person. James 5:16 says, “16If you have sinned, you should tell each other what you have done. Then you can pray for one another” In Ephesians 5:8-10, Paul said we belong to Jesus, “So act like people of the light 9and make your light shine. Be good and honest and truthful, 10as you try to please the Lord.” (CEV) Pray with and for the person – this will help them see you are sincerely sorry and truly want to rebuild and repair the broken trust.
  • do as God does and let love be your guide. In Ephesians 5:1,2 Paul said, ” 1Do as God does. After all, you are his dear children. 2Let love be your guide. Christ loved us and offered his life for us as a sacrifice that pleases God.” (CEV) In Ephesians 4, Paul said, “2Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. 3Try your best to let God’s Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace.” And, “26Don’t get so angry that you sin. Don’t go to bed angry 27and don’t give the devil a chance . . . 31Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. 32Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.”  Do as God does and let love be your guide!

It may take forever . . . or at least some time . . . to repair broken trust, but when it comes to your children’s ministry, there is nothing more important for you to do when trust has been broken than to do all you can possibly do to repair the broken trust.

Lynda Freeman

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Lynda has been married to Dave for 30 years . . . they met on a volcano in Northern California! Lynda took one look at Dave and thought, “We will get married!” And so they did! They have two grown children, Tiffany (26) and Dave (25), a daughter-in-law, Jackie (26) and two grandsons; Josiah (3) and the newly arrived Caleb – they are the delight of her life! Lynda lives in West Michigan and has served in children’s ministry for 40 years . . . she started with a Wednesday night class for four year olds when she was 10 . . . and has led ministries in churches with 100 people, 1600 people and several in-between. Children’s ministry is the passion of Lynda’s heart – she wants volunteers to love serving and children to love being there so they can learn to know and walk with Jesus all their lives! Lynda worked as a consultant for Gospel Light, Group and Zonderkidz/Big Idea/Willow Creek and worked as the Church Resource Consultant for Kregel Bookstores for 13 years providing training and answering questions for churches throughout West Michigan. She has written for Children’s Ministry Magazine and Your Church Magazine, wrote some of the preschool lessons for Big Idea’s VeggieConnections curriculum, was a contributing author for Group’s Humongous Book of Bible Skits for Children’s Ministry and wrote the Connections to Christ portion of the Manners that Matter curriculum from Maralee McKee. Eight years ago Lynda was diagnosed with MS, Lupus and a few other auto-immune illnesses and can no longer work “hands-on” with children . . . the stairs at her church are best avoided. However, Lynda consults with and advises her church and writes their curriculum, kidz Connection. She also writes a blog – About the Children’s Department - and is developing a series of children’s books and a resource on praying the Scripture! For fun, Lynda writes a blog for grandmas- grandma’s cookie jar (www.grandmascookiejar.net ) . . . well, grandpas, moms and dads are welcome to read it, too! You will find her on Twitter, Facebook and CM Connect .

One response to Trust . . . Takes Seconds to Break, Forever to Repair.

  1. So true. It is so much easier to keep trust than to re-build it once it is broken. God is able to restore broken relationships–I believe that–and you have shared some excellent verses on the topic.

    One thing I would add from personal experience is that our relationship will (re-)grow much stronger and faster if our focus is on Jesus and spending time with Him rather than on “making it up” to whomever we have offended. Not that we should neglect the steps you have mentioned; but freedom from guilt is empowering.

    There is wonderful, transforming power in the presence of Jesus! “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble…Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift thee up.” (James 4:6,10) :)