Monday, August 24, 2015
Learning To Trust
“I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, 'I love you.' There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
― Maya Angelou, poet
Hmm. Never thought of trust quite that way, but she has a point. And it’s made me think about how many times in my life a naked person offered me a shirt, metaphorically speaking, of course.
I tend to trust people until they show me otherwise. Most of us have had an ah-ha moment when a “friend’s” true colors shone through. As I wrote about in this guest blog post, My Middle Name Is Not 'Doormat', I used to have a tendency toward allowing people to walk over me, even when the evidence pointed toward their being wrong and me being right. After all, they claimed to be a friend, and some folks are pretty gifted at skewing reality in their favor.
“Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.” Psalm 41:9
Apparently, even the psalmist had trouble with friends who stabbed him in the back.
So what do we do when this happens? We can swear never to trust anyone again. A little extreme. Or we put up emotional walls to protect ourselves from being hurt again. Or we don’t recognize the pattern and continue to trust folks blindly and eventually get hurt again.
Despite how we choose to handle untrustworthy people, I’ve found one friend who has never let me down.
Since the beginning of time, He’s loved us. His words and actions are trustworthy.
How do I know He’s a trustworthy friend?
He mediates on our behalf in heaven.
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6a
He intercedes for us.
Jesus’s prayer for believers prior to his crucifixion: “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their [the disciples’] message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” John 17:20b-24
“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25
“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34
He is preparing a place for us in heaven.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4
He loved us first and called us friend.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:13-15
Consider this about God’s nature:
"But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely
that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be
in trouble if He doesn't come through.”
― Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
If you’re having trouble trusting the folks in your life, start with Jesus. The relationship you build with Him will enable you to discern authenticity in people.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Ultimately, this is what relationships come down to. Even with the best safeguards around our hearts and minds, the only way to truly know if someone is trustworthy is just to trust them.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse that has helped you with trust issues? I’d love for you to share it. J
Laura Hodges Poole blogs at "A Word of Encouragement." Her latest book is a devotional, "While I'm Waiting," available on Amazon.com.
While I’m Waiting was adapted from the author’s blog devotions, appearing for the first time as a collection. This devotional will inspire readers to wait on God patiently and reverently to answer their prayers, according to His perfect timing. The author shares her struggles and shortcomings in a relatable way that encourages and conveys hope, even in the most difficult circumstances. It is possible to walk through the valley and not despair, while praising God and choosing contentment. As missionary Jim Elliot once said, “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.”
“Trust” image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.