Successful relationships are built on the foundation of trust. Trust itself must be founded on integrity. An important success habit, and one that is essential for breakthrough to higher heights, is to test before you trust.
Never take anyone on face value. Never assume that because someone is related to you by birth then you should automatically trust them. Wrong. Joseph learnt this the hard way.
"Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!" (Genesis 42:16).
Joseph eventually learnt to test before trusting. At the time of the verse above, He had forgiven his brothers and bore no grudges against them; but he had to test them to see if they were worthy of his trust.
God did not call us unto stupidity; He called us unto wisdom.
"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. "Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues." (Matthew 10:16-17).
You will constantly forfeit your blessings in life if you continue to trust before testing.
Fools equate forgiveness with trust. Forgiveness is a gift, trust is a reward. Forgiveness must be given as a gift; trust must be earned.
To breakthrough to higher heights, you must forgive those who hurt you, but trust only those who are trustworthy.
People will fail you every now and then, because humans are imperfect. We do lots of dumb things in spite of our noble intentions. Learn to be merciful and forgiving of the sins of others. However, restoration of trust must be earned back. Forgive them, but give them time to earn back your trust. Till then, maintain a shrewd distance.
Sentiments vs. principle
To operate this principle, you must have your emotions under control. Joseph was a master at this.
"He turned away from them and began to weep, but then turned back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes." (Genesis 42:24).
Joseph held back from giving in to his emotions. He placed himself under check and submitted to wisdom. By having ‘Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes’ he sent a clear and unmistakable signal to them not to mess with him. Yet, this in no way represented how he actually felt!
Learn to place principle over sentiments. Do what God’s wisdom prescribes, not what your flesh feels like doing.
Sentiment renders you vulnerable witchcraft – that is, manipulation by selfish and wicked people.
Regardless of how much remorse people express over betraying you, and how much you want to rush back into the relationship, hold back. Give them enough tests and time to earn back your trust.