Faculty of Vanderbilt University led a study on trust and how implicit beliefs moderate trust erosion. Harvard Business Review wrote an article about the issue of trust, “When Trust is Easily Broken, and When It’s Not.”

The study shared that scholars have assumed that trust is fragile: difficult to build and also easily broken. But they found that in some instances, trust is robust. Even when harmful deception was revealed, some individuals maintain high levels of trust in the deceiver. The question was – why? The key factor ended up being the deceived person’s mindset, whether he/she had a “fixed mindset” or a “growth mindset.”

People with fixed mindsets “lock in” to an initial view of others. If they believe that someone is trustworthy, they fixate on that view and believe they KNOW what the person is like. Even when conflicting evidence presents itself, their initial beliefs are slow to change. Therefore they are more inclined to maintain trust even when someone disappoints them.

(Note – the converse is also true. If someone decides initially that the other person is untrustworthy, that opinion is also slow to be changed).

So – if this research done by Vanderbilt is true, what if we ask ourselves, “What is our mindset of God?”

In The Shack, Mack did not possess a fixed mindset but more of a growth mindset. He found himself swayed in his opinion of God. Because he suffered an unthinkable tragedy – the death of his little girl – he concluded that God did not love him, or Missy, and that God was not Good and couldn’t be trusted.

“Mackenzie,” said Papa, “You really don’t understand yet. You try to make sense of the world in which you live based on a very small and incomplete picture of reality. It is like looking at a parade through the tiny knothole of hurt, pain, self-centeredness, and power and believing you are on your own and insignificant. All of these thoughts contain powerful lies. You see pain and death as ultimate evils and God as the ultimate betrayer; or perhaps, at best, as fundamentally untrustworthy. You dictate the terms and judge my actions and find me guilty.” You would trust me. But you don’t.”

“Trust is the fruit of a relationships in which you know you are loved. Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me.”

Have you ever heard the statement, “You’ve already made up your mind.” Typically, when we hear that, it isn’t a positive thing. It means we are not open to new ways of seeing things.
What if we made up our mind that God is a God of love and one we can love?
What if we consistently believe that the tragedies that happen in our lives are not “from” God but are instead things that happen but will be, as Papa says in The Shack, “covered with God’s goodness.”

Proverbs 3:5-12
Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to GOD! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health; your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor GOD with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent GOD’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that GOD corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this.

Article from Harvard Business Review