I am going to a Christian Business Round Table tomorrow morning. The Topic for discussion is, "Lessons Learned When Trust is Broken & What it Takes to Rebuild." Attendance will be men of several different denominations. One gentleman is from India with a Hindu background and, I might add, seemingly a new Christian. I want to participate in this discussion from a WELS standpoint and am simply seeking a few good talking points whereas I may be able to respond appropriately during the conversation. Thank you in advance.
I apologize if this response is too late for you to use at your meeting, but there is a little lag time between submitting questions and providing responses. Perhaps what follows can be of help in the future.
From a Christian perspective, we would say that if trust has been broken by sin, then confession and absolution are in order (James 5:16; Luke 17:3-4). Forgiving those who sin against us and confess their sins to us is not optional; God requires it (Matthew 6:14-15).
Forgiving someone who has sinned against us does not mean that we condone the sin or that the hurt is not real. Forgiving someone who has sinned against us does not automatically mean that trust has been restored. In the case of a husband who has sinned against God and his wife by unfaithfulness, he will need to regain the trust of his wife through his words and behavior. Honesty, integrity, Christian love and Christian living will go a long way in rebuilding trust in human relationships.
Martin Luther’s explanation to the first commandment is “We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” When we fail to trust God, we violate his will. Accordingly, we confess that sin to him. We have God’s own word that such confession is not meaningless: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). And more than forgiving, God does not remember our sins (Jeremiah 31:34). Our forgiving God wants us to trust him (John 14:1).
I hope thoughts like these can be helpful for you at some point.