GENDUSA COLUMN: Seek truth to destroy distrust

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, March 30, 2022

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When my niece was a young teen, she phoned me from her summer camp, “Aunt Lynn, why do my parents not trust me? If they love me, they should trust me!”

I don’t recall what precipitated the call, but I answered, “Sweetheart, love is a gift, but not trust. Trust must be earned along with respect. If we lie, cheat, or dishonor someone, trust erodes, and it is up to us to ask forgiveness and repair the damage. So, no, trust is not a free ticket on the love train.”

Suspicion, doubt, and mistrust in our society have become a problem not just concerning government. Distrust of religion, journalism, and law are but a few areas that have put a rip in the heart of America. Even the average citizens often look at each other with a wary, questioning gaze.

Soon, after watching footage on the news, I remarked to an acquaintance, “How terrible is the war in Ukraine? It is so difficult to view such horror.”

“I don’t watch the news because I don’t trust what they say!” She declared.   My smarty-pants response was, “Then turn off the sound and just view the film.”

I was astonished that because she trusted no one in journalism, she was not informed about the devastation taking place in Ukraine. She chose to close her eyes to the bravery of the people, the humanitarian effort to aid others, and the evil regime creating problems for the world. 

Distrust of government is a huge issue. What do we do when federal and local officials harm America?

  “Why didn’t you vote the other day?”  I recall asking another young friend. “Shoot, what good would it do? They are all bad!” He answered. 

My response was, “The only way to get rid of rotten representation is to vote them out of office.”

When we view government decisions and leaders only through the lens of party affiliation and not for the betterment of America, the result causes mistrust and disrespect to multiply, especially in the eyes of our young citizens. Our duty to fortify America’s future is to use our precious right and vote.

For most religions, their purpose is to preach God’s word and save souls. How does the gospel’s message penetrate the heart when the congregation is full of cynical folks? How many “Godly” folks leave the church at noon, hop on social media, and spread vitriol-laden words by early afternoon? Perhaps it is not the church that is to blame for a decline in membership; maybe it’s the hypocrisy found in some congregants sitting in the pews.

Distrust in the law and law enforcement. My cousin and many friends are lawyers, and, boy, they are good folks. Yes, the law profession has some shady characters, as does government, businesses, and religions. Does that mean we don’t trust any who choose to protect and serve our nation under the law? Yet, when we get in trouble, who we gonna’ call… Ghostbusters? 

When we question every aspect surrounding our lives, we begin to welcome the conspiracy theories, scoundrels, and untruths to walk through our doors. Cynicism rises, evil penetrates and permeates our environment, and we replace hope with fear.

A society that breeds doubt becomes a victim of decay.   However, we could individually help America and the world by simply choosing to be informed and active. 

Take the time to research which news outlets are the least biased. We need to use several sources to obtain fairness in journalism. Read, watch, and listen to a variety of information services. Truth is obtained through knowledge.

We must cast our ballots for whom we believe are the best candidates to lead the nation. Who would do the best job of unifying our country, defending our nation, and bringing honor to our land? Character matters, and the only way we can discern who is the best person, is to read, watch, and listen. 

It is our responsibility to always seek the absolute truth.

God gave us a soul and a brain to accompany our free will. But He also laid down mighty hefty rules. The Bible directs us, “Go, therefore, and teach all nations.”  We are to do so not just through words but also by our actions. When we don’t follow His rules, we literally lose souls.  He meant it when He asked us to do His will and love. Throw insincerity out the church window, and the pews will be filled. 

Take the time to read, watch, and listen to find the truth. Let’s show the world that our ultimate trust in God gives us the power to change, love, and mend the tear in the heart of America.