Your child lies to you. A coworker hurts you. Your spouse cheats on you. Your brother or sister goes behind your back and does something they know you wouldn’t agree with. Your business partner made a bad decision that hurt your company.
Whatever the story… They are all devistating. The trust that you placed in an individual has been broken. You’re not sure if you’ll ever be able to trust that person again.
You’ll do your best to forgive them… But trust them?!?! That’s going to take some time.
This is the stance we take when we’re the victims… But what stance do we take when we’re the ones who are the offender?
Oddly enough… I’ve been working with people a lot lately on this subject. They’ve broken someone’s trust that they love and care about… Now what?
Here are 4 things you can do to restore broken trust:
1. Submit to the restoration process.
Restoration is a process… Not an event! Grace is an event. When you admit you’ve done something wrong, grace can be extended to you. But that doesn’t mean there will be no consequences.
You must pay the price for restoration and that doesn’t happen with a simple “I’m sorry.”There are some things that simply aren’t covered by an apology. And the greater the breech of confidence, the longer the process will take.
Simply stated: It’s their responsibility to forgive… It’s your responsibility to rebuild trust. And building anything is a process. It takes time.
If you keep picking a scab… It will never heal!
2. You can’t set the time limit on the process.
You can’t make anyone heal any faster than they can be healed. You simply can’t speed up the process. If you try to make them get over the issue as fast as possible, you’re rebelling against the process.
You must say to yourself… No matter how long it takes, I caused this and I’m willing to go through the process to restore trust.
Don’t worry about how long it will take to restore trust. Use this time to better yourself in all areas. People will begin to notice a change in you. And that is always a good thing.
3. Appeal to God… Be silent to others.
This process will take some time. What you can’t do is smother the heck out of them. Asking them if they’re ok. Asking them if they have forgiven you and forgotten about it. The more you do this… The more nervous they will get.
They will feel the pressure to move on faster then they should. And the hurt and bitterness they’ve experienced is never fully dealt with.
It’s like an athlete that feels the pressure to come back to fast. It usually ends with more hurt and pain.
Don’t pressure them to move on quicker then they actually can. Don’t talk to other friends about how you wished they’d get over it.
You be silent. If you must talk… Pray about it. Ask God to help them through this pain.
But you don’t say a word!
4. Get your priorities right during this process.
As I mentioned earlier… Use this time to work on who you are. Take a look at your priorities in life. Maybe there are some things out of order. Things you need to work on within yourself.
When you’re focused on bettering yourself, your focus is not on others. And how you wish they’d move on.
Listen… When trust is broken in any relationship it’s hard to get over. When it happens to you… You need time to get over it. When you’re the offender… You just want others to forget about it.
But if your goal is complete restoration of the relationship, you’ve got to submit to the process. And to be able to do this takes great humility.
Hope this helps!