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Love Trusts, But Trusts Wisely

Love Trusts, But Trusts Wisely

Posted by Kenny Vaughan on 17th May 2020

Excerpts from “The Right Fight: How to Live a Loving Life” by John Kennedy Vaughan

“The first thing we want to stop doing when we get hurt or [we lose something or someone] is stop trusting—both God and the person [or thing that] has hurt us.

“We want to put up fences and draw boundaries to protect ourselves, but we can’t put up fences and draw boundaries and love at the same time. If we love, we trust; and if we don’t trust, we don’t love.

“When we put up fences and boundaries, we are seizing control of our own lives for fear of being hurt again instead of abiding in God, but it is His grace and provision that keeps love strong in our lives and that gave us its blessings to begin with. God’s grace is sufficient for us. We must believe in His restoration in order to continue to live in love.

“Doing this does not mean allowing someone to constantly take advantage of you. If someone is abusive or hurts you again and again, they are hurting you and destroying themselves. Love them enough to tell them the truth about what they are doing, and if they won’t stop, love them enough to walk away so they do not continue to hurt themselves with their unloving acts.

“If you stay rooted in God and His love, you [are protected] much better than if you [cut off love to protect yourself.] You can’t act out of love for yourself, or it ceases to be love and becomes selfishness instead. You must be loving for the sake of others.

“When I was twenty years old and working my way through college, I worked for my cousin Mike Vaughan. He gave me a gravy job, paid me well, and taught me the ropes of business. We had been friends and hunting buddies for years, and he and my family were not only good friends; we were family. My job was delivering nuts and bolts for Mike’s business. Part of this meant that I refueled the truck I drove each day. At this time, I was pinching pennies and doing fine but wishing I had more money for more gas so I could run around more on the weekends, so I got the great idea of bringing a five-gallon can with me to fill when I filled up the company truck. I planned to drop off the five-gallon can in the bed of my truck so I would have extra fuel for the weekend. I knew that this was wrong, but I didn’t think it would hurt anyone, and I never once considered I was stealing from Mike.

“As crazy as that sounds, that’s just how fear works: it justifies what it wants. In my mind, it wasn’t ‘Mike’ that I was taking the gas money from; it was the company, and five gallons of gas meant nothing to the company, right? But five gallons led to more, and one day, when I was filling up, another driver pulled up on me. He didn’t say anything to me, but he asked Mike if he knew I was filling up that gas can. When I heard, my first thought was that the other driver was a jerk for telling on me.

“Mike fired me for stealing, and I left angry, but I knew it was my own fault. I was terribly ashamed and expected Mike, his wife, Debbie, and their two children would never forgive me. Months later, I received my typical Christmas card from their family, and Mike invited me to go hunting. I was so excited he didn’t hate me but still never expected Mike to forgive me or ever trust me again.

“That was some thirty years ago now, and though I took a long time to accept forgiveness, neither Mike nor Debbie ever once treated me differently. [Mike] loved me anyway. Mike and Debbie forgave me and showed me how to love after being hurt. They showed me trust is a choice. They can’t have felt trust for me after I stole from them and broke their trust, but they chose to extend trust anyway. It takes courage to keep loving, but when you know God is your provider and you love at all costs, you will always be better protected by loving than you could ever protect yourself.

“All these years later, Mike and I are the best of friends. … Every time I see Mike, I am reminded of his willingness to love and trust me after my mistake—and also to hold me accountable through firing me in the first place.

“Trust is a choice. I can choose to trust someone whom I have no feeling of trust for whatsoever. Choosing to trust anyone always means we take a risk of being hurt again. The feeling of trust will come and go with the actions of the people around us, but the choice to trust is ours, and we must choose to trust.

“If someone constantly takes advantage of our trust, the problem is not our trust but their actions. But the answer is not to have less trust, though it may not be wise to trust them anymore. If a person is continually unloving toward us and continues to abuse our trust, we are not helping them by allowing them to continue to hurt us and destroy themselves. When they will not change, the solution is to lovingly walk away—still encouraging them to change—so they can no longer hurt themselves with unloving actions.

“Live in hope that they will change, but for their sake, stay gone until they do. As we do this, we must continue to trust everyone else in our lives. We must not become people who no longer trust others because of a bad experience with one person or organization. We should always use wisdom in how we trust, but if we decide we will no longer trust, then love will no longer rule our lives."

Quarantine situations have increased domestic violence reports across the globe. Those who abuse are not courageous, but fearful. Still they can be dangerous. Reports are that many use quarantines as a way to further control and isolate their domestic violence victims.

If someone is physically hurting and threatening you or your children, protect yourself, get out safely, if you can, and definitely get help.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline via text or call at 1-800-799-7233.

Laus Deo,