Friday, June 15, 2007

Should We Trust?

I just read something that has overthrown my world for the moment. I was reading again on LifeStream’s BodyLife’s articles and decided I would start at the bottom and work my way up. The first/last one on their list was one entitled, “To Trust or Not to Trust.” The main point of his article is that trust only belongs to Jesus. That nowhere in scripture were we told to put our trust in another person or a church body. Not the church. Not a leader. No one. Just Jesus.


I have wrestled with this for two days. I thought church life and life with other believers was all about trusting each other. Even in our last meeting with our leaders the words were spoken, “If you don’t trust us, I don’t see how you can stay.”

Trust was everything. People who have actually talked to us since we left have said, “But we trusted you.” It has been said that we “broke trust.” I feel that others that I have trusted have betrayed me. (Betrayal can only happen when you have trusted someone.) Trust, when broken could never be restored in my mind. It was like a broken glass. You could glue it together again but it would always be cracked and scarred. Can you see how this idea of trusting each other was woven completely into my relationships? I did not see this as unhealthy at all. Yet the fruit of it was and is terribly unhealthy.

What if my hurt (in what happened here at my CLB) was actually caused by this whole idea of trusting in something and someone that never was to be trusted in the first place? What if I realized that my trust needed to be placed ONLY in Jesus? Would I have been so hurt? If this were taught to a congregation, would there be so much abuse of authority? I don't think so.

I looked in scripture today to see if Wayne had missed something. I looked up every verse that had the word trust in it. Then I looked up the different words used for trust in the Greek and searched them all out. I can’t find it. It is not there. We are to trust God, Jesus, and Scripture. That is it.

Jesus says that he would not entrust himself to men (Jn. 2:24, 25). Paul told the Bereans (Acts 17:11)that they were more noble than the Thessalonians because they basically only trusted Paul to a point. They went to Scripture to see if what he said was true.

The only place that I can remotely find trust towards others is in 1 Cor 13:7 where love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. The word for hopes is the word translated in some other places as trust. So it does say it there. But does that mean we are to foolishly put ourselves in a position where we never question and are devastated when someone does not do what we expected them to do? I don't think that this is what was meant.

I talked to my daughter about this and she was amazed at my black and white world. To her she feels like she never really trusts someone completely. Her point is that every man and every institution will eventually let you down. People are not perfect therefore how can you have total trust in someone?

Why was trust such a big deal to me?

When I look at it I realize that only trust in God is able to be fulfilled. And even my trust in Him has been shaken when he does not do what I think a loving Father should do. Maybe trust goes much father than people living up to my expectations of them. Maybe if I can “entrust” everyone to the Father and even “entrust” the Father to himself I can be free of the bondage that trust has put on me. That way, trust is not a controlling thing but a way to give God and others freedom to be in relationship to each other and to me.

Maybe I should do like 1 Corinthians 13 says. Maybe I should hope or trust all things and leave the results of that up to God. Maybe it is accomplished in the trust that I place in God. But also at the same time it gives people the freedom to be human in whatever choices they make (and give God the freedom to be God in the way he chooses). If they let me down, there is a bigger picture of a God who loves me and provides me with an ability to love others.

He loves me, even though he can’t always trust me. He pursued Peter even when Peter broke his trust (In fact he did not trust Peter from the outset – even predicted his failure). Maybe the passage where he is sitting with Peter by the shore really shows us what 1 Corinthians 13 means. He does not pull back emotionally when I am not trustworthy. Therefore he gives me what I need to do the same with others.

Right? Am I missing something else that you can think of?


Anonymous said...

Oh my God, we're totally blogging about the same thing. ;)

If it's true that God is teaching me something, then the one thing I learnt from my SECOND bout of dissapointment with the church is this:

People will dissapoint you. Even leaders you respect.

Here's a portion of what I wrote:

People will dissapoint you. Even leaders you respect.

I think I never really understood that until now. Church O leaders were people I didn’t really respect (because of their underhanded tactics). And although I knew by principle that people will dissapoint you, inside, I think I’m always looking for some upstanding Christian leader who will never dissapoint me and who will lead me to Christian enlightenment. But by making me face dissapointment caused by a leader I respected, it’s almost as if God is saying: “Liz, there’s no such thing as a human leader who won’t dissapoint you.”

I’ve been looking at human leaders instead of God to guide me in my spiritual life. I listen to them unquestioningly, even when they say things about me that I knew in essence were not true. It’s strange, really. You know yourself best, but when leaders who barely spend more than a few hours a week with you tell you who you ‘really’ are, you believe them. It’s not logical, is it?

Keep on blogging, Former Leader :)

Barb said...

Wow, we are writing about the same things.

If anyone else reads these comments please to onto Messy Christian's webblog and read what she wrote about this. (you do that by clicking on her name that is highlighted in blue)

It is so good to have others to dialog with abou this.
Former Leader

Erin said...

Liz is back!? Wow, I didn't know! I'll have to be by there right away!

In any case this is a great post and so very true. I have learned so much from Wayne Jacobsen, I'm glad you are reading his stuff.