God doesn't tell us to trust our neighbor. He only tells us to love one another. So we are supposed to love our neighbor, but we don't necessarily have to extend our trust. Of course, we should always try to assume the best of people, and, if they do something strange, we should first think of the most charitable explanation, instead of assigning the worst possible motives. We need to treat our neighbor with kindness and mercy, regardless of whether we trust them. We also want the best for one another, which is eternal salvation. This is true love.
However, at the same time, we must be discerning. The Bible warns us of wolves in sheep's clothing, false brethren and hirelings. Not everyone we meet at church is worthy of our trust. Sometimes, for reasons known only to God, the pastor sent to a particular parish may have personality issues. This is where love comes in. We need to pray for him, and sincerely hope that he receives more graces to lead his flock. But we don't have to trust him.
One mistake I made was to trust a particular church lady, whom seemed holier than thou. So I shared with her my wants, needs, fears and desires. Knowing my weak spots, she used them against me. Although I did nothing wrong, malignant personalities often use known facts, woven with damaging lies. This is how they get others to believe their largely fictitious accounts. If part of the story is true, everyone will assume the rest is as well. Any bit information in the hands of a narcissist, or socialized high-functioning sociopath will be used to harm.
Eventually, my husband, children and I were forced to relocate. Malignant narcissists are dangerous and destructive, even if their outward appearance resembles a lamb, as it often does with malicious people you may meet at church.
Ultimately, the only one we can trust is God himself. He asks us to trust in him, and not in our neighbor.
Pixabay image top by geralt