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Need For Trust (continues)

April 16, 2013

As I mentioned there are two tracks that we can pursue at this time. The first is that ending badly is the appropriate solution. The other is that God’s love and example are the only means to avert an unhappy ending.

Let us explore an unpleasant course of action, where we are without hope. Our reaction this can be surrender, not our will to God as it should be, but we give up on achieving any of our dreams and desires. In its mildest form this leads to melancholy or even acute sadness. In its more radical forms it leads to hostility and ultimate depression. We can choose to not see that we have a God that we can trust. We instead see our inability to achieve the goals we have set and to possess those things that we desire.

I have witnessed many violent outcomes to the desperation that occurs when trust is shattered and the individual cannot find a way to regain the trust that they feel that they must have. Suicide has been one course of action. Re-offending is another way that man will lash out at those they feel will not trust them and give them the opportunity they feel that forgiveness has earned them. Forgiveness earns them nothing more than itself.

I am currently reading a book by Thomas Merton entitled “No Man Is An Island”. Rather then delve into the contents of the book, consider its title alone. God recognized that man should not be alone “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.”” (Genesis 2:18) Our companions are a reflection of God in our lives, put there as helpers.

If we have no helpers or at least the promise of finding them, are we not alone? As man needs these helpers so man needs to trust them. Forgiving is the beginning of trust or the reestablishment of the bond of trust, but as mentioned before it is not trust. We forgive because we have been forgiven. Should we trust, because we are trusted? We cannot, because as I have mentioned before, I don’t believe that God has cause or need to trust us.

So what example do we have to follow? We have God’s love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The sacrificial love that God has shown with this action begins to bring into focus what we are challenged to do in our lives. We are to show God’s love to all, not tell them about it, but show it to them.

How does this translate into trusting one that has broken the bond of trust not once but many times? Have we not done exactly the same thing in our relationship with God? Have we not done the same thing in our relationships with others? The answer to both questions is yes. I know that many feel that they have not broken this trust to the degree that others have, and that is most definitely true. If you are seeking to find a way to make yourself feel better or superior, you may have discovered it.

If we can trust no one other than God, then why do we place so much value on trust? When we understand that we will fail in this area is that enough for us to seek the only practical solution to the interpersonal relationship dilemma? My suspicion is that it is not. God’s love, which transcends our own capacity to love, being the only solution that is viable eludes us.

Instead we when we meet a sinner that has broken all the bonds of trust in their lives, we forgive them and then wait to see what will happen. Will they work hard enough to earn our trust? Should we be asking ourselves what that means and to what level they must reach for us to trust them? If we will start there and communicate that message to that person, we have begun to show God’s love. We have given them hope. We have shown then God’s love through a very common media, the actions of His followers.

And it continues…

 

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From → Prison Ministry

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