• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

A Different Stance

Real trust is not something that we quickly give to another.  Trust needs to be built.  It takes time and experience for me to observe that you are worthy of my trust.  Yet, one small misstep and trust can be broken; all that has been built can dissipate in the space of a couple of minutes or seconds.DifferentApproachToSuccess

At that moment, we enter into “mistrust”; a holding back of our hearts from others because we are just not sure that they will come through for us. Our natural stance towards others is often one of mistrust because we have been let down so many times.  We now insist that others prove their trust before we will extend our trust to them.

Our relationships as workers are meant to be living demonstrations of God’s awesome Gospel power at work in us.  I’m not calling for a naïve trust in everyone, but I am pleading for a different stance, a different approach towards trust.

  • What if we changed our stance to one of trust, that is, of trusting the best of another and believing they have our best interest in mind until the contrary is proven or demonstrated?
  • What if we extended forgiveness to those who have broken our trust?  What if we chose not to bring that experience of mistrust up again as a means of accusation?
  • What if we measured others’ broken trust in light of the many times we have failed to trust our heavenly Father?  What if we allowed that thought to drive our hearts to repentance and faith?
  • What if we decided to write out what real trust looks like in practice and then shared that with another for their help and insights.

It’s easy to say we trust someone.  It’s another thing to actually live from a different stance, one of real trust.

 

2 Responses

  1. It would be good to compare this “Thought Along the Journey” with the one posted on January 25, 2013, that responds the the question why are we commanded to trust God and not commanded to trust one another. In the first paragraph of that blog it says that we are commanded to love one another. My thought is that without agape love shed abroad supernaturally by the Holy Spirit true trust cannot be fully established and developed.

    Why?

    In I Cor. 13 we learn that agape love never gives up on the object of that love. This love cares more for others than for self. It is not suspicious and most important agape love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others. As one translator wrote “Love does not keep statistics of evil.” This is part of the content of what it means to love one another. Loving one another in this way will produce in time trust on a very deep level.

    Unsaved people can develop a trusting relationships but it is destroyed by any small slip up or failure likely never to be reestablished. But when trust is built on the foundation of agape love rather than phileo love that love according to I Cor. 13 will “endure all things.” because it is trusting God who began the good work in them who will complete it until the day of Christ.

    Agape love says that I choose to love the other person no matter what they do. Phileo love says that I will love IF you love me –it depends on reciprocation. But is it prudent to continue to share sensitive matters when a brother of sister has let you down? No, but agape love never gives up, but care enough to confront. I says that our trust will have to be rebuilt and until then I will not share myself as freely with you as I have in the past. Agape love even after a failure always looks for the best and doesn’t lose hope.

    Missionaries moving across culture face additional issues of trust. Often due to cultural memories their is a mistrust of foreigners that is so deep that they refuse to even consider the gospel proclaimed. Marvin Mayer in his book, CHRISTIANITY CONFRONTS CULTURE: A STRATEGY FOR CROSS-CULTURAL EVANGELISM, has very helpful chapter on how to ask the prior question of trust.

    • Agreed. However, I have often observed workers move towards ‘distrust’ because another worker or support staff lets them down at one moment. We are able to work around the agape love piece by saying that it cannot really mean ‘endurance’ to that extent. As you write, this should not be the stance of the worker. We should be characterized by a love and a trust that goes beyond our ability.

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