Don’t put your trust in anyone!
People will offend you. Forget you. Disappoint you. Betray you. Leave you. Fail you. They will move away, leaving gaping holes in your heart. They will misunderstand you, leaving you bewildered. They will break your confidence, break your spirit, break your heart.
Do not put your trust in them!
The Word gives all kinds of admonitions to not put our trust in others: kings (leaders), horses and chariots (our resources), warriors (things we think will protect us), man (humans ), and certainly not ourselves.
We are instructed, instead, to put all our trust in God and in God alone. Depend, rely, lean fully on Him. Put all your hope in Him. All your confidence in Him. All your trust in Him.
By saying to not put your trust in people, am I advocating a “just the two of us” lifestyle, devoid of meaningful relationships? Not at all!
I believe placing our trust in God alone is the only way to enjoy significant relationships over the long haul. When we put all our trust in God, we are free to give ourselves in authentic relationships as a gift to others. Why? Because we are confidently expectant that God is entirely able to heal and redeem any and all hurt we experience in those relationships.
The reality is we will be hurt in community. It’s just a fact of life. We are like little children stumbling around in an inflatable bouncy castle, running into each other, bumping heads and bruising hearts.
But because we fully trust in God’s healing redemption, we can love authentically with abandon and without fear.
Many of us come from home cultures that promote an unbiblical model of authentic relationships. Prove to me you are trustworthy, and then I’ll be authentic with you. I share a little of myself, and if you handle it in a way I like, I’ll reveal a little more of myself. Reciprocate and I’ll let you in a bit more. Over time, as you prove your trustworthiness, I will let you know the real me.
Break my trust and we’re done.
The problem is we expect people to earn our trust. They can’t. It’s a weight humans were not designed to carry. Humans cannot live up to each others’ expectations perfectly. We fail. We stumble. We disappoint. Because this is what humans do. Demanding that people earn our trust is asking them to do the impossible.
People fail. The problem is we expect people to not fail us. But they will.
So, what if shifted our paradigm when it comes to trust? What if we truly, wholeheartedly trusted in God, trusting He is big enough and strong enough to heal the bumps and bruises, and even deep cuts we experience in community?
What if we wholeheartedly engaged in the practices God gave us to deal with hurt? Confession. Forgiveness. Grace. Love.
What if we removed the burden of having to earn each other’s trust, and simply gave ourselves in authentic relationships as a gift?
And what if I freely offered the real me without concern of how you will respond or reciprocate – I’m just me when I’m with you. I am willing to be known as I really am. I share my struggles and my victories with you as a gift and as an invitation. Not because you’ve earned my trust but because all my trust is in Jesus and in His ability to bind all my wounds and heal all my hurts.
When I am unencumbered with the burden of proof of your trustworthiness, I can choose to live authentically alongside you. I am free to love you without fear of you taking advantage of me or harming me, knowing well that you are human and there is risk in loving you. But God is faithful to heal and redeem our relationship – because we fully trust in Him.
We can choose to overlook offenses, to look past misunderstandings, to embrace the messiness of being human, and love with the kind of unfettered love by which Jesus loves us.
Yep, we’re going to misunderstand each other and we will likely say or do something that will hurt. But in those moments, we have been invited to let our trustworthy Redeemer bring healing and foster a deeper relationship with each other because we’ve met at the cross.
As we’ve talked about trust this week, what have you been thinking? We’d love to dialogue in the comments.
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