Suspicion is when we suspect something is wrong with little evidence or proof. It may be no more than a slight feeling that leads us to be suspicious.
Sometimes suspicion can be an imagined apprehension. Sometimes our suspicion proves right, but more often they prove wrong—really wrong and it’s damaging to relationships.
At times an individual may give us good reason to be suspicious and to consider their agendas. Maybe they show a lack of integrity, or there’s been a betrayal, they have a track record of unreliability, maybe they are a gossip, or they are a person who shows they just don’t value people.
Sometimes our suspicions are the Holy Spirit saying a very loud WATCH OUT! We need to learn how to hear that and respond.
Other times our suspicion is purely our own weakness, fears and insecurities. Our past experiences make us suspicious of new people and new opportunities and we can miss out on a lot of added richness in relationships and in leadership.
The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted. –Mahatma Gandhi
Suspicion drains trust. We quickly dismiss a person—the whole of the person, because of the slightest whiff of suspicion we think we caught from them.
Suspicion is not equal to wisdom. We should not be led by suspicions. Although we should use wisdom to get to the bottom of why we are suspicious.
Harry S. Truman said, “We shall never be able to remove suspicion and fear as potential causes of war until communication is permitted to flow, free and open, across international boundaries.”
Mr. Truman was talking about international relations between nations. It is also true of relationships between people. There is sometimes an internal warring in our thought life about the motives of other people and even our own motives.
Open communication and generosity in extending love to people will work to defuse suspicion and then to build trust.
Love looks for the best in people, it always trusts, always hopes, it believes for the best, 1Corinthians 13:4-7 (paraphrased). If we let our suspicions run wild we will never fully love people and believe the best in them.
Be generous in love and use wisdom.
The Trust series:
1. What is trust?
2. A lack of trust
3. Trust is tangible
4. Trust and suspicion
5. A track record of trust
6. Love does not guarantee trust
7. Burden of trust
8. The transparency of trust
9. 10 ways to build trust
10. 10 things that promote low trust