The lack of trust among people and nations in our present world has to be at an all time high. Whether you are talking about politicians or pastors, it has become increasingly difficult to trust other people - even people that you want to trust.
I am a man that has had trust issues throughout life and for reasons I will not discuss here. Even so, there have been and are people in my life that I have trusted with the full knowledge of who I am. I can count those people on one hand. There is one that I have known for a good share of my life. We are no longer close. We do not speak, write to or see each other, but strangely, I still trust that she will keep my secrets and even take them to the grave. That may be unfounded. I do not know what her behavior has been since last we spoke. Even so, I feel a sense of trust.
There is, of course, One that we can all trust - The Lord, Jesus Christ. He already knows me inside and out and so there is no reason for me to pretend before Him, the way I might with others.
But what about others - other Christians - people at church. Should the Lord's church membership be able to trust, not only in Him, but also each other?
I believe the answer is yes, but my heart tell me to be wary and I do not believe we should live our Christian lives feeling like that about each other.
Here is why.
As we have discussed previously, God is Truth. When we accept His truth and become Christians, we develop faith and love for Him. He has made us righteous though we are not. We are grateful. We become part of His church.
As the process moves forward, we should learn to love each other, serving each other and working together within the church for the common purpose - expansion of the kingdom.
Our faith and love for God and our brethren should next logically lead us to trust in God and each other. The trust would then lead to unity and unity to joy, grace and peace. All of this is bound together by obedience to His Word.
The ultimate product is a healthy church that is appealing to it's membership and attractive to those in the world contemplating the faith. This kind of church, based on these truths will be successful and be held in God's favor.
Sounds good right?
But none of this - none of this will work without the element of trust. I will go so far as to say that without trust, true Christian obedience is not possible. We will never be successful as a church if we cannot trust each other. Without trust, love falls to the ground. Without trust, we will never truly know each other. Without trust in God, we will never be able to fully know or obey Him. Without trust, there is no joy....no peace.
Trust is the ticket to a happy Christian existence in Christ's church, so why do I feel that I cannot be completely honest with my brethren about who I am in Christ? Why do I fear the self righteous, unremitting hand of condemnation from people that are supposed to love me as God loves us? That hand is probably not even there. It may only be the fear. Fear destroys trust.
This should not be. So what do we do to develop trust?
I think we have to be willing to risk hurt feelings and bruised egos and step out in trust when others will not. We need to be honest with others in the church about where we are at in the faith and push to get the same from them. We have to let the fear die and let Christ live through us in our dealings with others, both inside and outside the Church. Trust will not develop if we are not willing to step out and take risks to our personal well being and feel the pain of someone else or even endure our own.
Trust will cost you something if you do it right; even possibly betrayal. Jesus could tell you about that. So let's take a leaf from His page. Let our love extend to trust - for Him and for each other.