A woman I know has the habit of giving people only one chance. If disappointed even once, she will drop the person from her life, including the modern-day form of excommunication: unfriending on Facebook. I wonder if people see that in me. Am I like that?
Being cynical and pessimistic has a certain logic, doesn’t it? If you wall off your heart after one disappointment, you think you can’t get hurt again. If you assume all people are jerks, you won’t be surprised when they act like jerks. And since most people’s words and actions can be interpreted in various ways, you can always ascribe negative motivation, that they’re just using you.
What a lonely way to live! It’s also a mind-set that could destroy a family. Relationships can’t last without trust. Trust is earned, but trust also has to be given, and preferably given in advance. If every disappointment in a marriage destroyed all trust in one or both hearts, no marriage could last. St. Paul has wise words for us: Love “always trusts, always hopes” (1 Corinthians 13:7). It sure does. Now here’s the question: Will you believe that that statement applies to you and choose to trust the people in your family? Always to assume the best explanation for their behaviors? To be willing to let go of yesterday’s frustrations in the hope that tomorrow will be better?
When you trust and hope, you release trust and hope in others’ hearts.