The Bible says that love “…always trusts…” (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Since God is the only One who is perfect, He is the only One who is completely trustworthy. (I don’t even trust myself because I struggle with selfishness). When I trust the Lord, it frees me to think the best of people and look at their potential. I can trust Him to give me discernment in dealing with others, and I can trust Him to be working for my ultimate good, even when He allows people to take advantage of me. I suspect that not one loving person who saw Jesus on the cross was able to see the good in that. Yet, the salvation of mankind was in progress.
I will share an example from my life, but I am changing the names to Adam and Joe. When my elderly relative, Adam, needed more help, I began visiting him on a regular basis. In doing so, I discovered that his long time friend, Joe, had been stealing money from Adam for quite a while. The whole story is too complicated to explain here, but I continued to treat Joe kindly and he didn’t know that I was aware of his dishonesty. After Adam had a stroke, the doctors declared him mentally incompetent. Joe then took me and the other three trustees of Adam’s estate to court in an attempt to get custody of Adam. During the court proceedings, Joe slandered me, but he did not win the case. I continued to treat him kindly and I prayed that he would someday have a relationship with Jesus. I hope he saw something of Christ in me. We did not keep in touch after Adam died.
When I trust God to be in control of my life, I don’t have to be paranoid or anxious about constantly protecting myself. Instead of worrying about what the other person is up to, I just need to ask God what He wants me to do. That frees me to look for the good in others, even when they’re taking advantage of my kindness. I am free to give them the benefit of the doubt until their actions prove them guilty. And if they are proven guilty, I’m free to forgive them, knowing God is, and always has been, in control.