always trusts?

I was asked a very interesting question this past week.

Should trust be earned or automatically given?

My instinctive, emphatic reply was that trust should be earned, although I felt like the correct, or spiritual, answer was that it should be given. But I didn't really know why.

I was pointed to a verse that says very simply: Love always trusts.

How have I never noticed that before? It's in the famous "love chapter" for crying out loud. I've seen it. Read it. Underlined it. But I never stopped to even think about what I was so busy Amen-ing. Love always trusts? Isn't that what we call... naive? Gullible? A sucker?

He broke it down for me a little further: "I should always give trust. You should have to earn my distrust." Some people automatically earn your distrust (like the drunk guy on the street asking for food money), but otherwise trust should always be given. Making someone need to earn it, need to prove themselves, means making them work for my love.

This love-always-trusts stew has been simmering in my brain ever since. Automatically giving trust means setting myself up to be hurt, disappointed, let down. It means opening the door for trust to be broken even more than it already so often is. Does this line of thinking mean I'm cynical? Skeptical? Hard-hearted?

What do you think?