Jack: Did I not clearly explain the circle of trust to you, Greg?
Greg: Mm, yeah, I think I got it.
Jack: Then is there something you wanna tell me?
Greg: Mm, l-l don’t think so.

Meet The Parents is a painful story told playfully. Jack Byrnes placed demands on poor Greg which no one could meet. The scene with the lie detector test is one for the ages. Jack took caution to extremes, for sure.

But in fairness to Jack, we’ve all been burned in relationships. We know what it’s like to have our trust broken. So while we don’t want to be too suspicious, we don’t want to be too gullible either. But it’s a fine line.

In this article, we’ll talk about how to determine who you can trust.

A Member of My Circle

I want to mention a friend by name: Mike Sares.

When I was hospitalized with a blood clot, Mike was there. When I was struggling as a parent of teenagers, Mike was there. When I had to leave my job, Mike was there. I recently told him, “Mike, you’re bad luck.” 

But seriously, Mike is my homeboy. He’s been with me through thick and thin. We’ve shared many experiences and he’s been there for me when I’ve needed him. Mike is in my Circle of Trust.

Here’s the thing: while love may be unconditional, trust isn’t. Jesus commands us to love our neighbor and even our enemy, but he doesn’t command us to trust them. Trust is earned and those in your inner circle must prove themselves trustworthy. Your Circle of Trust is an exclusive group that you gather by invitation only.

Who to Include in Your Circle of Trust

Ask yourself the following questions and see who comes to mind:

  • Who knows you best and loves you most?
  • Who has been there for you in the past?
  • Who understands what you’re going through?
  • Who respects your core values?
  • Who can be rational and objective…yet biased in your corner?
  • Who is a good listener?
  • Who can keep a confidence?
  • Who is healthy?
  • Who is wise?
  • Who won’t let you make a mess of things?

This is my list. I’d love to know what your criteria for trust might look like.

In our next conversation, we’ll discuss how to gather and activate your Circle of Trust. And how to reciprocate so the relationship is life-giving to both of you.

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