We don't trust anymore. We have less faith

Trust and Faith

Define:
faith, belief, confidence, conviction,
credence, credibility, credit, dependence,
reliance, faith experience, trust.

Spirithome.com > Spiritual Word Meanings > Faith and Trust

Definitions are how truth is conveyed.

What Is Faith?

Faith:

  1. confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, an idea, or a thing.
  2. belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
  3. loyalty or allegiance to a person or thing; esp. fidelity to a promise.
  4. the theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.

Faith indicates persistent action, devotion, and direction of self, and is often charged with emotion. When there is faith within someone, they become faithful, and when they have faith in someone, that loyalty can grow into a covenant. In the Hebrew Scriptures, this is the meaning of Heb. 'emunah. 'Emunah is also used to describe the covenant of marriage, as what the husband and wife have in each other. Faith can grow stronger or become weaker, changing with each situation. Life eventually puts it to the test.

Belief, Confidence, and other terms

Here are some other words which cover much of the same turf as faith. In what ways do these words describe how you are toward God, or toward the gospel message?

Assurance is a confidence or sureness that is not rooted in your intellect. It usually comes about because of the action of someone else.

Belief:

  1. the mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another.
  2. mental acceptance and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something.

'belief' vs. 'faith' :

Certainty is not a form of faith, but of knowledge, based on demonstrable evidence which is so strong that it can be fairly labeled 'proof'.

Confidence suggests less emotional intensity (or, at least, a much less visible intensity); it implies stronger grounds for assurance.

Conviction is a strongly-held belief or idea on spiritual or moral matters. It is something that often grows out of life experiences and hard thinking or meditation. For Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his convictions were expressed as a 'yes' to what God had in store for him, knowing full well that it could (and did) lead him to death at the hands of the Nazis.

In credence, the mind accepts and agrees to it, implying nothing about the grounds of proof.

Credibility happens when something or someone shows itself to be worthy of belief. It's given to a movement or person whose report or action stands up to hard thinking and/or discernment. It is something given by others, not grabbed through one's own actions.

If someone claims what they are doing is "God's move", that's a claim which may or may not be true. Discern whether this is so. If that person then says, "get in line with it, or be damned", then they are making a command. That's usually not theirs to do, and it is not God's way of doing things in a world after Christ rose. Their claim has no basis for credibility. If it were one of those few occasions when a command comes, God grants a sense of authority even non-believers and enemies can sense, and has built it into the character of the leaders God chooses.

Credit is a 'yes' of the mind on indirect grounds, such as the trustworthiness of the source. It is best used as a factor in a decision, not the basis of it.

Dependence suggests reliance on the help or support of someone else. It infers that without such help, the task at hand could be accomplished only with great difficulty, if at all. It also infers that the 'someone else' is of higher rank or esteem.

Reliance indicates a confident and trustful commitment toward another. If you're someone who runs a business or ministry, somewhere along the way you'll delegate responsibility to someone else for some important task. You are relying on them -- which doesn't make you an inferior, just someone wise enough to leave the task in the hands of someone better at it. Reliance on others can free your time to do what is yours to do. Reliance on God is trusting the real and original source of ability to get something done, more reliable than you are.

'Trust': see below.

We are not made right before God because of faith, but through faith.

Justifying or saving faith is how one enters into a right relationship with God, thanks to what Jesus did by dying for us.

You can also check the dictionary for these words.

faith experience : a conscious encounter with God himself or with an action of God, initiated by God, and having observable results in the lives of individuals and communities.


What Is Trust?

'Trust' indicates a depth and a sense of assurance that is based on strong but not logically-conclusive evidence, and/or based on the character, ability, or truth shown by someone or something over time or across situations. You can trust someone to do good or to do bad, based on the evidence and track record. Trust makes for a sense of being safe or of being free from fear, enough so your focus can be on other matters because that matter is taken care of. It becomes easier to simply enjoy life. Trust breeds confidence and conviction. Misplaced trust is the work of confidence-men and convicts.

No human is totally trustworthy.
No human is totally untrustworthy.
No human can always trust themselves.
No human is totally trusting of any one other person.

Trust is a risk. We leave ourselves open for loss. Betrayal of trust hurts so much because the lost sense of security multiplies the damage.

When trust breaks down in a society, people become afraid. This can lead to silence, or to living in a way that diverts one's attention from the lack of trust, or leads to squelching inventiveness and creativity. A society can live and breathe again once people can start trusting each other, as people and as the core institutions that bear a collective (or national) identity.

How To Build Trust

  1. Communicate. Say accurately what you are doing, and don't assume others 'just know'. Also helpful: suggest some way they can help out.
  2. Do what you've communicated. Nothing is more important to building trust than actions which match the words, non-verbal cues, and stated reasons. (I mean, actions that don't have to have 'spin' to make them seem like they match.)
  3. No scorekeeping. The game of tit-for-tat does not create a sense of trust. Quit reminding others of what they did wrong in the past. Focus on what's happening now.
  4. Look in the mirror. Are you giving other people reason to distrust you? Were you acting this same way in a past instance where you were shown unworthy of trust?
  5. Repetition. Each time you act in a trustworthy manner, you earn more trust. After a while, the trust starts adding up. Be thorough about it : build trust in every matter, big or small.
  6. Show trust. People who are trusted are more likely to trust. Most people actually are trustworthy in most matters most of the time. Trust them, and the trust may spread. (That doesn't mean blind trust, which is a way to become an untrustworthy person's enabler.)

As Martin Buber put it, "One can believe that God is and live in his back; he who trusts him lives in his face." (in *Two Types of Faith*).

You can also put your trust in the listing under trust in the dictionary.

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ver.: 02 July 2011
Faith and Trust. copyright © 1999-2011 by Robert Longman.