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Faith vs. Trust

I have often said that if there is anything in me that could be considered faith, it would be faith in people. But the fact is that that is really a misuse of the term. Generally speaking, we have trust in people based on past experience which serves as evidence for trusting them further. Faith and Trust are not as interchangeable as they are often used.

Faith is generally defined as belief without evidence. The Bible puts it by saying that it is what is hoped for when the evidence of things not seen. By not seen, we are not just talking about our sense of sight, but all our senses. In other words, it is what is hoped for then there is no evidence.

Trust in people however is based on what is seen in that it is based on our past experiences with that person. If a friend has shown that he or she cares about you and has your best interest in mind that is evidence that they are trustworthy. So it is rational to trust them. If someone has repeatedly shown that they are not trust worthy, you aren’t going to suddenly trust them unless something in them has changed and caused you to think that they now might be trustworthy. This is based on evidence. It is based on things seen.

The point is that there is a difference between faith and trust. The former is based on no evidence but the later is based on past experience. Aristotle once said that for every virtue there are two vices. For the virtue of trust, one vice would be distrust, but the other vice would be faith. The virtue always lies between the two extremes.

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