Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Trust

A recent conversation about trust got me to thinking.  In practical terms what does trust mean?  What does trust look like being lived out in my everyday life?
 
I often respond to be people through the framework of my past…both good and bad experiences, healthy and unhealthy.  That may cause me to unfairly evaluate a person’s actions and attribute motives that they may not have.   

I believe that trust can begin with the character of the person in whom I trust. 
 
Here are some of the characteristics that may influence me to trust.  When I believe someone is basically good and has good and kind intentions towards me.  When they don’t seem to have a hidden agenda that influences their actions or words.  When a person is open and transparent.  When they are quick to apologize if they’ve done wrong or said something unkind.  If they take ownership of their words, action, attitudes and choices...and don’t play the blame game.  Someone whose mood and actions are not easily influenced when things aren’t going their way.  When they are consistent in words and deeds.  Someone who is humble, teachable and growing in grace and wisdom. 
 
With that said…people are flawed, sinful and may not always act in a way that evokes trust.  What am I to do, how should I respond?  How does trust grow relationships with two people who are growing, changing and are a work in progress?  I’m not sure I have the answer to that question.  Perhaps it’s something for me to contemplate and bring before the Lord.
 
When I look at the attributes of someone who is trustworthy…God is so far beyond anything on that list.  From His word and from His present and active work in my life…I can know with certainty that He is good and only has good intentions for me.
 
So why is it that sometimes I don’t trust God? 
 
For one thing…often I see people…including God through lenses that have been shattered by life and people that are sinful.  God may allow things in my life that are painful and difficult.  God may answer some of my prayers with a resounding “No” or I may only hear silence.  In my humanity…it may be difficult for me to see that God truly is working things out for good for me.  The good that God is working out may only be manifest in heaven...not here on earth.  He may be allowing pain with the purpose of growing me or causing me to depend on Him. 
 
As I grow in my knowledge of God and who He is…my trust in Him will grow.  When I choose to believe His word over my feelings and circumstances…my trust will remain steadfast.  If I believe that God is good and working out everything for good…I can trust Him and the work He is doing even in the midst of difficult circumstances.  When I have an ongoing relationship with God…I can come to Him and ask for wisdom and discernment when dealing with people.  When I am willing to bring God my wounds and let Him bring healing…I can learn to trust people and see how my past has colored my vision. 
 

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Picture a Day - Wild Yarrow

The yarrow in our garden is one of my favorite plants.  In the wild, it's just as pretty.