Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. – Prov. 3:5
The three primary characteristics of Christian spirituality are faith, hope and love. And while each one plays a different role, they all rely on trust. Faith requires us to trust God. Love requires us to trust others. Hope requires us to trust in something better. In this way trust is the practical, tangible, easy to understand but hard to practice aspect of following Jesus.
We don’t grow skeptical and skittish overnight. We often have very good reasons for our lack of trust in people, institutions and even God. When we expect one thing and receive another; when we rely on someone and they don’t come through; when we’re attacked, cheated, ripped-off or betrayed; all of these negative experiences confirm our suspicions that someone or something shouldn’t be trusted.
But lack of trust is a serious barrier to spiritual growth. Fear, questions, pain and timidity can be part of our honest and true longing for God, but until we move in rhythms of trust we won’t grow.
Proverbs 3:5 admonishes us to trust in the Lord with all of our heart and lean not on our own understanding. This important and initial act of trust with God has enormous implications on our relationships with others as well. When we place our full trust in God, we’re no longer afraid of what others might do to us, we’re no longer worried about what life might bring. The one act of trusting God sets life in order and frees us up to love – both God and our neighbors.
This week, practice a rhythm of trust – first with God and then with others.
While trust can be our response to people and events in our life, here are a few examples of ways to be proactive in practicing trust:
- Take time each day to present any anxiety or concerns to God in prayer. Trust that he will watch over you, protect you and provide for you. Thank him for the numerous ways he’s taken care of you in the past and ask him for wisdom to view your current circumstances through the lens of his eternal perspective.
- Allow your building trust in God to spill over into your relationships with others. Even with those who have betrayed you or caused you to be suspicious, believe that they can act with the best intentions and give them the space to do so.
- Determine to be known as a trustworthy person. If someone is relying on you, make it a top priority in your life to fulfill the expectations you’ve agreed on. Look for ways to extend a helping hand when others are stressed out or overwhelmed. If someone shares something confidential with you, keep it that way. If they ask for your honest opinion, speak the truth in love.