The best proof
Dr. Joyce Brothers reminds us, "The best proof of love is trust." Let those words sink in just a bit - don't just skim over them. The best PROOF of LOVE is TRUST. Three very important words because love requires proof and the only proof that really matters is when you know you can count on the person you love. If we are to do more than just 'survive' in this world, we need to master this thing we call love. We take each other for granted - expecting so much from one another - not really appreciating the person behind the actions. Trust is based upon more than 'follow-through' - it is based upon the motivation of the heart (the spirit behind the actions). We can trust God because he did more than 'follow-through' on a couple of promises to us. He did more than just 'be there' in our lives. He showed us we could trust in him - he gave us the 'proof' of his love through his Son.
Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes! (I Peter 4:7-11)
Love each other as though your life depended upon it. Do we invest that much of ourselves in the relationships we have been given? I am asking because I know I have been guilty over the years of 'being in relationship', but not really giving of myself in a way that cost me anything all that valuable. I was 'there', but I was not really invested. It takes a lot to invest in the life of another - sometimes more than we might be willing to give. One thing you might not have considers is that when you finally take the step to be a 'trustworthy' friend, the relationship changes. You are making an investment and that is going to change the whole tenor of the relationship. Your relationship will move from a purely superficial "let's have fun together" level into one that actually begins to 'cost' you a bit of yourself.
How is it we develop this kind of love? Some may tell us it requires us letting our guard down a bit so others can finally get close to us. Many will say relationships only work when both are equally committed. Others will suggest we need to invest time into the relationship. These are both good suggestions, but without trust, the relationship will go no further than a superficial level. Why? Trust is what holds us together when everything around us is trying to pull us apart. How is trust built? Most will point to the aspect of 'following-through' on your word, but it is way more than just doing what you promise to do. It might just be the aspects of grace we exhibit toward one another that really bespeak our trust.
Grace overlooks more than small offenses - it works to restore the relationship quickly, so the rift grows no bigger over time. Whenever I repair a tear in fabric, I always go way beyond the beginning and end of the tear. Why? I know that ear made that portion of the fabric just a bit weaker, so I 'bolster' both ends of the tear to prevent it from tearing out again. In must the same way, we 'bolster' a rent in relationship with grace that perhaps goes beyond what looks like the immediate offense. We may use our words to draw us back together, but then we use our ongoing actions that go just a bit further, so the rift is repaired with greater integrity. It is that 'going beyond' the initial steps of grace that keep us together over the long haul. Just sayin!