Trusting Others

Is trusting others necessary to be a faithful Christian?  Pastor James asserted this was so in his message on Sunday.  I’m still trying to get my head around it.  Honestly, I’ve never thought about it before.  I know I need to trust GOD.  I know I need to love God AND my neighbor.  But why do I need to TRUST my neighbor?  I think of my trust as something sacred—a gift given only to the most worthy.  God of course.  And a few special chosen ones.  But most of humanity seems undeserving of my trust.  I don’t know them and they haven’t earned it—so why should I trust them?  

 

Even as I write these words I begin to see the error of my ways and the problem with my point of view. For starters, my thinking seems to deny God’s very pronouncement at the beginning of creation that humanity—those same creatures made in the image of God—were VERY good.  My attitude seems to forget that we are all children of God.  That we are all endowed by our creator with an original blessing of God’s approval.  My tone of disdain for the created is an insult to the Creator.  So one barrier to my trusting others is definitely an inadequate appraisal of the value and worth of other human beings.  I am only willing to bestow my trust on those I deem worthy.  But by virtue of being created in the image of God and with God’s approval, all humans are plenty worthy enough.  

 

So if people are worthy of my trust, am I now willing to give it to them?  Still, I hold back.  It seems irresponsible to go around randomly trusting.  I might get hurt.  Someone might take advantage of me, break my heart, steal my car.  But isn’t that fear and pessimism an indication that I don’t trust God either?  It is God who gives life and invites us to partake in its wonders.  By withholding my trust for fear of life’s uncertainties, am I not announcing to the world that I don’t really trust God’s sustaining grace, no matter what my words might say?  If we don’t trust others, we don’t really trust God to be with us no matter what happens.  We think we have to be in control and manage everything or it won’t turn out alright.  By withholding trust, we also reject God’s incredible gift of life and all of its possibility.  Without trusting others, I cannot make friends, fall in love, create a family.  Heck, without trusting others, I can’t drive on the highway, eat in a restaurant, or walk out my front door.  Some level of trust in others is necessary to simply live and enjoy life.  And we honor the Giver of that life when we do so.

 

And so trusting others helps me to honor God by finding value in God’s created and by finding joy in God’s creation.  But there is also something important about trusting others as part of the walk of faith.  The Bible story is one of humans in partnership with each other and with God.  Love is based on connection and connection is built on trust.  So choosing to trust is fundamental to building connections that allow us to be in partnerships and communities of love.  And that seems to be the goal of it all.  God is love and love is never alone.  The Holy Trinity is a partnership united in love.  Creation is the child of that holy union.  It was not okay that Adam was alone, and so there was Eve.  Jesus had the disciples. We all have each other.  We need to trust each other in order to be in community.  

 

And so perhaps Pastor James is right.  Maybe as people of faith, we really do need to trust others.            

The Bible says we cannot love God if we don’t love our neighbor because we only see our neighbor.  Perhaps we cannot trust God if we don’t trust our neighbor for the same reason.  Trusting others shows our trust in God.  Trusting others enables us to enjoy the wonderful world we have been given.  Trusting others honors people as worthy creations of God.  Trusting others allows us to build communities of love that express the very purpose of life.  Without trust, there is no community, no partnership, no love. 

  • James Henry

    Randi, your reflections are deeply meaningful and insightful. Thank you for sharing them!

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