Waves of Trust
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]F[/mk_dropcaps]orgiveness and trust are vastly different. In relationships with those closest to us, we can ask for forgiveness but trust is earned over time. Forgiveness is a choice while trust is based off our track record and integrity. When it comes to speaking truth in love we must understand that trust often is built in waves. There is an ebb and flow to trust in relationships but if we are intentional to walk in integrity and God's love, trust will grow.
One of the most challenging things to overcome can be offense, especially when our trust has been betrayed. This is one of the most common road blocks when it comes to our capacity to boldly love others whose faith doesn’t line up with ours. It is easy to get offended when someone challenges your beliefs or when you’re accused of such things as being “part of a cult.” The more I am in church, the more I realize just how offense is the devil’s playground. John Bevere has written a powerful book on it called “The Bait of Satan.” He also preached a great thirty minute sermon on the topic if you want to watch. You can find that powerful teaching HERE.
To be effective as the hands and feet of Jesus to those lost around us, we must choose, however hard it is, to “forgive others as we have been forgiven.” I know this first hand and from both sides. I have found myself in need of forgiveness and also needing to forgive those close to me, including myself, for a betrayal of trust. I will not go into how unforgiveness and offense can be a barrier in your spiritual life as John Bevere’s teaching covers in depth and he explains it far better than I can. However, I do want to highlight the importance of trust. Trust is the key component in sharing the love and truth of God with those closest to us.
Our discernment of when to speak, where to share, as well as what truth to highlight, is vital. Being understanding and giving people adequate time to heal from offenses will make our ability to love them all the more powerful. Grace is required for those who carry scar tissue from past offense. How many of us have been hurt by the church in the past? In order to influence and create opportunity for the love of Christ to be seen, we must take into account someone’s past hurt. Take time to understand what has led them to their current position and do so with a willing and tender heart. If someone is highly volatile and argumentative, it probably stems from a situation or experience of the past.
What all of this points to is our need for discernment. Just because we see an area of issue in someone’s life does not mean we are called to highlight it in that moment. Healthy correction and sharing truth requires us to have a level of trust with that person so they are more likely to receive any gems of wisdom we give. In Matthew 7:6 it says:
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.[/mk_blockquote] After being in a church community for a long period of time, it can be difficult not to expect everyone to understand and “get” the goodness of God automatically. However, some have yet to fully experience Him. That encounter is exactly what someone needs and far more than us pointing out another issue in their life. We are called to be ambassadors of Christ, especially to those that God has positioned closest to us. In order for us to be an effective light, we must lean on God for every word spoken and every step taken.
Trust is an area we can all develop more by simply showing the unrelenting love of God. Our part to play is to love those close to us. Loving those far from God will eventually tear down the walls around their hearts and minds and they will heart and receive the power of the gospel.
Build trust through how you live your life and how you love others. Having this awareness will make sharing the power of the good news of God all the more powerful. Remember, it does not fall on our shoulders to save others. That is God’s part. We are simply the messenger and the example. We get to usher others into God’s presence. But first, check the current of the waves of trust. If the tide is out, wait until it has risen.