who can you trust?

i am amazed at how little things can change the way people see the world. it is the little things, the things that happen in a split second, that alter the way we think, interact and travel. it is those small things that make us who we are, like it of not.

just recently i was in a discussion with a person i trusted, and had a great respect for. we disagreed on a topic, and that was cool with me. i had no problem discussing the matter, and i admit we both had strong feelings about the topics - and the way the topics where delivered. but the problem came at was now the end of our conversation, when he mentioned - after some nine emails [there were three short emails after this where i said thank you, but no thank you], sharing things that were some what personal in nature at times - that he had been "bbc'ing" some of his friends all our emails. now, i most likely would not have cared if i knew this from the start; in fact i have been involved in emails where this was expressed in the front end and i was good with it. i know i would not have had a different point of view - but i might not have shared personal information as i did. this seemingly small event, this short volley of emails ended in a violation of trust at core levels - so, where is the trust? what happened to trusting people?

there is a natural fallout to this kind of thing;

first, can i trust others? while i have lost trust in that person, i now have a different trust level for others. think about it; if he can do it to me, why not others? so, his actions not only effect my views of him, his actions effect my relationships with others as well, now and in the future. i see this as the "the butterfly effect of sin." his actions cause me to distrust others, his actions effect the relationships i develop from this point on - and that is just wrong. his small action, cause the larger disturbance in my reality.

second, can he ever build back trust? it is easy to discount this and just toss it up to a person who just did not know - but when confronted with how i felt, my feelings were discounted and he simply wanted to "support his view" - and stand by his point. so, what do i do if he emails me again? do i respond? do i trash? do i just answer with a "thank you, but no thank you?" if redemption is sought, how can one tell that redemption is real, has meaning, seeks forgiveness?

thrid, in the reality of it all does this matter? it is hard to see this little event as anything that counts, but i have to say that it caused me to get very upset. it hurt, it was a trust that was violated and i tend to think it does matter.

we sometimes don't think of the little things we do that can have huge effects on people and their lives. his actions, in a split second, changed the way i view internet relationships, how much trust i place in people i meet on the net and even how i email. this hurts, because i have developed friendships with people i call friends on the internet - if this friend violated my trust, can others? will others? have others?

i do not desire this to effect my life in a negative way, but just bloging on it shows it has. think of it this way, if we cannot trust each other and seek each others voices, can we ever truly move forward in seeking what God wants from us? if we lose trust, can we honestly and openly share voices? can we truly seek unity, if trust is not possible? if trust is lost, and confidences are discarded can we truly be open with those around us?


Cindy said...

John, I'm having (rather unpleasant) flashbacks after reading your post. I'm re-living the emotions of being betrayed by friends. Ouch. It hurts. And if memory serves me, that hurt didn't go away quickly, nor did my trust return quickly. I'm not sure it ever returned entirely. Which at this point, I don't see as entirely bad.

During those times I was comforted that "...Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. (John 22:24)" I kept coming back to the fact that Jesus knows how it feels to be betrayed.

Maybe I'm out of line here, John, since I don't post here regularly and you don't know me, but can I make a suggestion? Since you're experiencing this betrayal, and since Lent begins this week, why not use your pain to encounter Jesus as he was betrayed by his friends. I don't mean be a martyr about it, but live it and feel it and experience it as you consider his suffering in a slightly different way this Lenten season. It's just a thought.

john o'keefe said...

cindy, new is never an issue with me :) your voice is heard, and i think you maybe on to something :) i am in the process of owning the event and processing the outcome - so, your idea is very cool - thanks :)

Peter Attwood said...

In hallucinatory mode, we would like to imagine that we can somehow ensure that people will not betray us, or that we can somehow make sure it doesn't happen. But aside from big betrayals like Judas, Jesus had to budget for healing people and then having them go and tell the Pharisees, with the result that they would persecute him - and even when Jesus specifically told them to shut up. I've done that myself, and so probably has everyone else that has read the gospels, even wondering why there was anything wrong with their proclaiming what Jesus did.

It's the cost of doing business if we want to minister, and it's worth learning form Jesus how to handle it. I'm sure the torment in this is rooted in the fear of being made naked; we will have to learn how to work out that frear with the Lord and see how he wants to handle it for us. In this we can learn a little more about where it is written, "I sought the Lord and he answered me, and he delivered me from all my fears."

No guarantee that people will not do this is his general answer for this, so let's not look there. Anesthesia through bitterness is no successful play either, I've found.

Jeffrey said...

John, I relate to you here. Ha, have you read the last couple posts and their comments on my blog? Ughh...

Cindy, as I have recently experienced similar scenarios in my own life, your suggestion speaks to my soul. I shall meditate on your perspective...