Don’t Trust Anyone {The Grove: Trust}

Don’t put your trust in anyone!

I’m serious.

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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37 Comments

  1. Kristi April 23, 2015

    This really hit home for me.  After sharing my fear about trusting my heart to someone, a friend told me that I wasn’t supposed to trust my heart to this person. I was supposed to trust my heart to God.  His promises are the only ones that are sure.  His love is the only one that can stand up to our sin and the sins of others.  Oh, I so very, very much want to live a life that frees me to be authentic with others because I TRUST fully in my Father who Loves me to death.  Thanks, Patty.

    Trust has been something I’ve been thinking about this week A LOT.  I wrote this earlier this week and decided to share it here.

     

    You Can.  I Promise.

    Do you trust Me?

    Do you trust Me, with a capital “T”?

    You can

    I Promise

    With a capital “P”.

    I Am BIG

    BIGGER than your circumstances

    BIGGER than your fears

    BIGGER even than your future

    Which seems to loom on the horizon

    I Am GOOD

    Better than you than all you can imagine

    I LOVE you

    More than words can say

    I love you with

    my tears

    my sweat

    my blood

    You cannot doubt Me away.

    I can handle your questions

    your emotions

    your unbelief

    I’ve got you covered

    by Grace

    and wrapped

    in Mercy

    You are my Beloved

    I Am yours

    and

    you

    are

    MINE

    forever

    and

    ever

    You can TRUST Me.

     

     

     

     

     

  2. Patty Stallings April 23, 2015

    Kristi, I love when you comment – especially when you share your word artistry!

    I am so with you in your desire to live authentically in the freedom that comes from fully trusting our Father.  Lord, give us grace to trust You enough to love others with abandon!

  3. Jenny April 23, 2015

    This is a timely word for me, Patty, as we are re-entering life in the US after spending most of the last 15 years overseas, and I find myself tired to again be at the starting point of relationships.  Thank you for this challenge, and giving me something to pray for God to grow in me.

    1. Patty Stallings April 23, 2015

      Jenny, my heart longs for you to experience His refreshment and courage through friendships as you transition.

      Father, would you prepare life-giving friendships for Jenny?  Friendships she can walk into without all the positioning and sizing up that sometimes happens.  Friendships where she can be who she is and share where she’s been. I ask that she would experience a deep, abiding trust in You and Your goodness as she walks on unfamiliar paths.  May those paths be fragrant with Your lovingkindness toward her. 

  4. Lauren Pinkston April 23, 2015

    This is so deep and convicting, Patty. God always uses you to take my understanding of this world and my relationships to a deeper level. Thank you for allowing Him to guide your fingers as you type out your wisdom to share with us.

    1. Patty Stallings April 23, 2015

      Lauren, your words warm my heart.  Thank you.

      These are the hard-won truths of life we get to share in this space, huh?

      Be blessed today with His wonder and with His never-ending love for you, Lauren!

    1. Patty Stallings April 24, 2015

      What a beautiful story of trust, Beth!  I think the bottom line question of life is, “Will you trust Me in this?”  Just another version of the questions the Lord asked you in that season of waiting to hear from Him.

      Thank you for sharing your story here at Velvet Ashes!  I hope you’ll do so again!

  5. Elizabeth April 24, 2015

    I love this Patty! I’ve been blogging through a book called “I Have to be Perfect” (And Other Parsonage Heresies), and in it the author talks about trusting people. How we sometimes have trouble trusting people, but the truth is, there are trustworthy people in the world. He goes on to say that of course, their trustworthiness won’t be perfect. I feel like that is what you are saying here. We open ourselves to people, knowing we will sometimes be disappointed. We can still continue to offer people ourselves. (And of course, sometimes we will do the disappointing! That’s part of community too.) I love the idea of offering yourself, being open and authentic, even if some people will still hurt us. I just love the courage that involves.

    And get this, in that book, the author also talks about changing our shoulds to coulds. Over the weekend as I listened to your retreat session, I noticed you saying the same thing! That was so cool. 🙂

    1. Patty Stallings April 24, 2015

      Hey Elizabeth, just earlier this week I read a couple of your insightful blogposts on the book you mentioned.  It sounds like a book I would enjoy –  I’ll have to check it out.

      It does take courage to offer ourselves, huh? It’s hard to be authentic when you have a reputation to live up to!  I think this is where a lot of us miss the joy in relationships.  Fear of being hurt or disappointed (or fear of being the one who does the hurting and disappointing) keeps us from freely offering others the gift of who we truly are.  Acknowledging the imperfections lets us move past unhealthy expectations to be able to experience the beauty of authenticity.  There’s freedom in taking risks and the reward is so sweet!

      By the way, I loved your post on Velvet Ashes earlier this week!  You offered yourself with openness and authenticity and courage.  Exactly what we are talking about!  🙂

      1. Elizabeth April 25, 2015

        Thanks Patty 🙂 And yes, the book is good. There was a chapter on forgiveness that talked about what it is and what it isn’t, and there was a phrase called “absorbing the damage” that was a totally new, but very helpful, idea to me. I didn’t have enough time to get into that in the series though!

        1. Patty Stallings April 25, 2015

          Now I’m really curious, but it looks like there isn’t a Kindle version, so I’ll have to wait until summer.   🙁

          1. Elizabeth April 25, 2015

            It’s supposed to come out on E-book this summer . . .

    2. Monica F April 25, 2015

      Hi Elizabeth, my counselor at Link Care loaned me that book to read- even though I’m not a pk or mk…. she was going off my need to be perfect though:)  It has been so insightful and helped me realign my identity in Christ- not with what people think I should be!  It’s also helped me gain some insight into what my kids may have been experiencing as they’ve spent the majority of their lives out of their passport county.  I’m glad you mentioned the book- very helpful!

      1. Elizabeth April 25, 2015

        I know! Isn’t it crazy how relatable this book is? (I’m not a PK either.) So glad it blessed you too.

  6. Michele Womble April 24, 2015

    Wow.  I love these lines:

    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.

    and I so love the image of the children in the bouncy castle!  There might be a child in there bumping into other children and knocking them down on purpose, but MOST of the time they’re just bouncing around and bounce into each other accidentally.

    1. Patty Stallings April 24, 2015

      There is something about assuming the best in others’ intentions, isn’t there?  If we know most of our bumps and bruises are accidental, we are more likely to respond with grace and forgiveness.

      So glad you stopped by today, Michele.  May you be overwhelmed with joy today!

  7. Amy Young April 24, 2015

    I can still picture sitting in my supervisors office when he asked, “Where in the Bible does it say we are to trust each other?” I was stumped. Um … in?

    He followed up with, “Over and over we are told to trust God and love each other. Those are the repeated messages.”

    I had never noticed it before, but he was right! Now, I’ve mulled it over quite a bit since then (not a surprise, given my personality, wink!). I also think Erikson was on to something when he looked at developmental stages and the first one being navigating trust vs. mistrust. It is important we learn to trust and to discern who/what is trustworthy.

    Still, as you so beautifully put it Patty, if we can get the order right of trust God, love each other, what a difference it would make :)!

    1. Patty Stallings April 24, 2015

      Amy, that’s the perfect formula for healthy relationships:  Trust God. Love each other.  And you model it well!

    2. Elizabeth April 24, 2015

      I also love this Amy! “Over and over again we’re told to trust God and love each other.”

  8. Andrea April 24, 2015

    I loved this … I just kept saying Yes while reading! The problem is how to change Lol, how to rewire myself and trust God in such a deep way that I can be myself without worry. I definitely struggle with this and desire more than anything the Freedom God gives us to be ourselves through Him!

    1. Patty Stallings April 24, 2015

      Andrea, the really wonderful part of rewiring is that it is God’s work.  We can resist Him or cooperate with Him, but ultimately He is the one working in us to align with His purposes and desires for us.

      Father, my guess is You are the One who has planted this desire for freedom in Andrea’s soul.   And You will be the One to rewire her to give her that desire in marvelous and unexpected ways! Even in the waiting, grow her trust and hope in You.  As she trusts You, may her roots sink deep into Your goodness and kindness. 

  9. Laurie April 24, 2015

    Trust is tricky, isn’t it? If we dare to trust, we will get hurt. If we don’t, we become isolated and lonely. I ran across an article online a few days ago about loneliness, especially the way it is endemic in the US. The solution? The author, Carmen Palaez, suggests that readers learn Spanish. Then, talk to people in the Hispanic community in the US. I know from my time living in Central America that they have a strong tie to those around them. They tend to express their love, concern, and even their chastisement more freely than we do. If someone is struggling with loneliness, try talking to your Spanish neighbors, especially in their tongue. I affirm what Palaez suggests, that you won’t be lonely for long. You can learn to trust again.

    Here’s the link:http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/voices-loneliness-public-health-issue-speak-some-spanish-n335301

    1. Patty Stallings April 24, 2015

      A sense of belonging in community is so important, isn’t it?  Without a doubt, some cultures foster that better than others.

      I hope you have a wonder-filled day, Laurie, with lots of connections!

    2. Marie April 27, 2015

      Thank you for this link, Laurie. We have been living and working in Costa Rica for the past 20 months and I have observed how what you are saying is so true. How I appreciate that about the culture God created in Latinos!

  10. Monica F April 24, 2015

    Beautiful.  So timely for me, thank you!

    1. Patty Stallings April 24, 2015

      So glad you stopped by, Monica.  May you sense His goodness in your day today!

  11. MaDonna April 25, 2015

    Loved this description: “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.”

    It’s so true – and I love your remedy is that we just need to put our full trust in God and let him show us how to properly handle when our heart gets bruised, or when we are the one that does the bruising.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom – ones that cause me to stop and think today.

    1. Patty Stallings April 25, 2015

      MaDonna, your comment makes my heart smile.  🙂

      Makes me think of the old song
      Trust and obey
      for there’s no other way
      to be happy in Jesus
      but to trust and obey.

  12. MaDonna April 25, 2015

    That is a great song for me to think about as I get ready for bed now. Needed it for a different area of my life in trusting and obeying. Love how God works!

    Thanks!

  13. Ashley Felder April 26, 2015

    There is a long, nasty history of distrust and abuse of trust in my family, resulting in some major family drama. My father has said for as long as I can remember, “Don’t trust ANYbody!” Sadly, he doesn’t follow it up with, “Only trust God.” Instead, he took it the other way and not only doesn’t trust anyone, but doesn’t invest in anyone, doesn’t open up to anyone. As I’ve gotten older and grown closer to the Lord, it hurts to look at him and see how he has let these wounds of others breaking trust lead him into depression.

    I’m sure there are pockets of this hidden in my life and actions somewhere. My prayer today is that God will continue to reveal them and lead me to the Cross to repent of them.

    1. Patty Stallings April 27, 2015

      Dear Ashley, I’ve been thinking about Jeremiah 17 these past couple days where trusting man is compared with trusting God.  When we look to people as our source, we end up parched and dry, withered and isolated.  When our confidence is in the Lord, we are fruitful, healthy, alive with our roots deep in the Living Water.

      I wonder if that same principle extends to broken trust.  When we expect that people will never fail us and expect them to only do right by us, are we putting a trust in them to do what only God can do?  I’m going to ponder that.  Thank you for sharing your story with us, Ashley!

      Father God, I join Ashley in praying for her dad. Would you bring healing to him and remove this burden from him?  Would you lead him to put all his hope and trust in You, the One who is ever faithful and always true?  I also ask that Ashley would recognize any residual effects and surrender them to your healing and your lovingkindness. 

      1. Ashley Felder April 27, 2015

        Thanks, Patty! I just read Jeremiah 17. Wow, I think I’ll linger on that one a while! Also, I’ve been wanting to paint a tree on canvas and add various colors of buttons as the leaves for years. (Thank you, Pinterest.) I thought it might be too girly for the boys, but hey! Now I have a girl! I also wanted to add a verse to it, and I was just thinking about which one the other day. I think one from this passage will be perfect. 🙂 Love how God speaks through others, even if it is about my crafts. Ha!

        1. Patty Stallings April 27, 2015

          Since I don’t have a crafty bone in my body, it makes me immensely happy to be a part of a craft inspiration!

  14. Marie April 26, 2015

    Dear Patty, this post of yours comes at a great time in my parenting life because I was just discussing this very idea with my adopted 11 year old daughter yesterday. She was struggling with the idea of people letting her down. As I was listening to her and instructing her tender heart, I realized the Spirit of God was parenting me in the very same area, as well. The story of my life! Thank you, so very much, for your sensitive and compassionate wrap-up of a special week here at VA. I feel so full … now, time to go give some of it away! Hugs from Costa Rica!

    1. Patty Stallings April 27, 2015

      Hi Marie, I so resonate with our Father teaching us through parenting our kids!  Thank you for your sweet note.  We are rejoicing with you in your fullness!

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