I probably have a trust issue.
It takes a long time for me to trust someone truly, but when I have invested that trust in someone, I will stick with them through thick and thin. However, on the flipside of that, if that trust is violated, then I struggle with the desire to maintain a relationship with such a person.
For me, it’s all about a person keeping their word. This ranges from what some might see as insignificant, like being consistently late when you’ve agreed to meet, to not following through on a promise given.
But what do we mean when we talk about trust?
Would we trust our wife or husband to perform minor surgery on us if they’re not qualified? Would we trust our 9-year child to replace the brakes on the car despite how much he might be enthusiastic about trying? Or would we trust our longtime best friend to gear us up for a mountain climb when they have a fear of heights, and you know they’ve got issues even climbing the stairs?
Is trust something that we work with on a case by case basis?
For example, we trust our GP to diagnose a medical problem and advise the correct course of treatment. We trust that the pharmacist will label the right drug and give us the recommended dose. We trust our local garage to sort those brakes out instead of our 9-year old, and we might, if you’re mad enough, trust the people that strap bungee cords to our legs before we take a nose dive straight down!
I wrote at the start of this post that I might have an issue with trust, but as I write more about it, I find that I actually trust a lot of people and the services they provide quite a bit. So do we all as long as it’s the proper person or service for the job. We hand out a lot of trust quite easily really.
Maybe sometimes, however, our trust is misplaced with too many of us trusting what the news is telling us about the world, without investigating deeper for ourselves. The number of people that comment on just the headlines that they read via social media from random ‘news’ sources without actually even bothering to read the article is staggering. I find that many people fall for ‘click-bait’ headlines and get so angry and upset over something that would take two minutes to check against other sources.
We can also be fickle our trust. Take politicians as an example. Trust with these people is like throwing out confetti and trying to catch it again. We want substance from them to help gain our trust, but then we fall out with them if they don’t say what we want to hear.
We give it out trust easily in part, but we’re always ready to reel it back in again.
So is there anything at all that we can fully trust, now and always? Let’s take a look at a section of Proverbs 3:
5 Trust in the Lord completely,
and do not rely on your own opinions.
With all your heart rely on him to guide you,
and he will lead you in every decision you make.
6 Become intimate with him in whatever you do,
and he will lead you wherever you go.
Don’t think for a moment that you know it all,
7 for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion
and avoid everything that’s wrong.
8 Then you will find the healing refreshment
your body and spirit long for.
9 Glorify God with all your wealth,
honouring him with your very best,
with every increase that comes to you.
10 Then every dimension of your life will overflow with blessings
from an uncontainable source of inner joy!
I guess we’re stuck a little if we don’t even trust the Bible. But let’s go with it anyway and if you’re someone with little or no faith in God or His word, then take this as it is meant to be, as words of wisdom and encouragement.
I think that there is something potent in taking the focus off ourselves for a moment and placing it on something that is, in many ways, beyond our comprehension. The bottom line is that it’s hard trying to maintain a world where everything should revolve around me because everybody else wants it to revolve around them!
In this post, I’d like to let you know, or remind you, that I believe the person we can trust in the most is our Daddy-God, our Father in Heaven and Lord of all of creation.
5 Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make.
It feels good to be able to put our trust in God. To be told that He can handle it, He’ll take care of us, and we don’t need to worry about a thing. Except sometimes it doesn’t seem to work like that, even amongst those of us who believe in Him. Right here in this book of wisdom, God knows that we’ll doubt, so He adds more to this first sentence, and He inspired someone to write it down: do not rely on your own opinions, or as in older Bible translations, do not rely on your own understanding.
It seems to me there is an encouragement here to fully invest our trust, all of it, in Him. Not to hold anything back just in case He doesn’t quite come through for us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that word completely is there by accident and the last time I checked completely means totally, utterly, entirely, wholly, thoroughly, fully, absolutely, unreservedly, and quite often, unconditionally!
If we truly and fully trust God and we don’t pretend we do, when we give the whole of our hearts to Him, that’s our emotions and our thinking (when this passage of Scripture was written the heart was seen as the absolute centre of who we are which includes our cognitive functions) then we can trust that He will lead us right. And actually, as we trust, our we find that our decisions line up with His decisions. Our Daddy-God doesn’t want mindless automatons following His every whim and commandment, He wants people to trust Him of their own volition and to live our lives through that freedom.
I love what this proverb goes on to say: Don’t think for a moment that you know it all, 7 for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong.
We don’t know it all, and that is such a relief! Yet, our trust in Him brings us wisdom it says. We can handle anything and have a response for whatever comes our way. And for all that wisdom poured into us, all we have to do is give our Creator our devotion. He deserves it, unreservedly. He created us, gave us this world to enjoy and people to love, He is the cause of it all, and that is worthy of our devotion and thankfulness.
What begins with simple, but complete trust, moves into the realm of our physical bodies and our mental well-being: 8 Then you will find the healing refreshment your body and spirit long for.
When we stop being fickle with our trust and when we stop being short of giving it all to Him, we find that our worries and our issues are diminished. It’s not that worries and issues won’t happen, they will, but what’s important is our response to them. We are not the answer to our problem, God is. When we learn to turn to God in the first instance and not as a last resort, the long-term outlook is one of refreshment in both body and soul.
We don’t need any self-help books or the need to fill the pockets of positivity gurus, we merely need to trust that God will take care of it and will guide our actions and words through it, leading to real rest and good mental health.
So good so far, but then here comes the biggy, the issue we don’t like to talk about much, the thing we want to hold close and dear and quite often place a lot of our trust in: money!
9 Glorify God with all your wealth, honouring him with your very best, with every increase that comes to you.
I can hear the comebacks now: That’s Old Testament stuff and no longer applies to me. I give to many charities and have nothing left to give to the Church. I serve in so many other ways I can’t afford to give financially.
Even if I may be reading a little disingenuous with that last paragraph, I do think there is some validity in some of those arguments. But I attach to that that a caution that a little truth taken out of context can be shaped in whatever way you would like.
With regards money I can really only write from personal experience. I can testify that when I give to God from something I know I need to survive in this culture, something that feeds my family and puts a roof over our heads. I know that I have been blessed many times over.
That’s my experience, and I desire that we all experience this blessing too. Sometimes the blessing might come in ways other what than we expected. The bottom line is again, trust. Do we trust God with the money that I have worked so hard to gain?
The apostle Paul, who wrote a lot of the New Testament in the Bible wrote this in 2 Corinthians 9: 6 Here’s my point. A stingy sower will reap a meagre harvest, but the one who sows from a generous spirit will reap an abundant harvest. 7 Let giving flow from your heart, not from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving—all because God loves hilarious generosity!
I love this passage because it tells us that our giving should never be forced, but only encouraged, because it is only through giving that is done freely do we only ever feel the pure joy of such trust in God.
Maybe because God knew that this section of Proverbs can be tricky the writer reminds of this in the verse directly after verse 9: 10 Then every dimension of your life will overflow with blessings from an uncontainable source of inner joy!
Trusting in God brings joy. What adventures might we go, in mind, body and soul, when we trust Him completely?
If all this is true, what it tells us here in Proverbs 3, then isn’t it the case that those of us who believe should look different to the rest of the world? How much easier will our mission to tell the world about Jesus be if all we have to do is tell the stories of our lives and for others to hear how free we actually are and not how we are locked up in some cell of religious legalism?
And for those of us who are finding it hard to take that step of trust, for those of us who might read this message and are still yet to give their lives over to something greater than themselves, I say to you give it a go. Acknowledge that you are not the centre of your world and you were never meant to be. That there is a greater individual, who goes by the name of Jesus who desires to be your Lord, Saviour and friend. And if I could give you a sample of the freedom found in Him, then I say look at the life of a true believer and see how they differently they deal with what is thrown at them.
You have access to it all too, just put your trust in Him today.