I am not a very trusting person.
Some of it’s baggage from the past and things over which I had no control. Some of it’s because there have been times in my life when I myself have not been trustworthy.
I love observing people. You can learn a lot that way. If someone speaks badly of another person when they’re not around, I usually think that they’ll probably speak badly of me when I’m not around. So why I should I trust them, right?
A few years ago, I was very hurt by someone who I trusted, a lot. She was a mentor for me in the early stages of my ministry and essentially let me pour my heart and soul and time into a project, only to intentionally and forcefully take it away in the end.
Because of this person’s actions, I find myself guarding my innermost dreams and hopes…fearful another person will trample on them. And honestly, my heart just can’t take it one more time.
When I wrote about that situation in my book, Mad Church Disease, I wrote about how forgiveness is a decision I needed to make, yet trust was something that needed to be earned.
But you know what happened? Over time, I felt convicted that I wasn’t getting it right. I researched, prayed, and eventually, I had to go back after sending my manuscript to my editor with a change.
I started to realize that trust is not something that needs to be earned.
Trust should be freely given.
Please hear me…this does not mean that we are allowed to make stupid decisions and be gullible. You wouldn’t just trust a child molester to babysit for you, right?
When I carefully read and studied on 1 Corinthians 13:7, it basically says, “love believes all things.”
In the Greek translation, this reference of love is agape love. The kind of love we are filled with when we become believers. The self-sacrificing kind.
Agape love believes all things.
So, what does “believes all things,” mean?
“Believes,“ in it’s Greek form, means this: to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in.
And “all things”, in its Greek form, means this: each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything.
So, you’re telling me that love places confidence in each, every and all things and people?
I had to look even farther for the context here, as at a simple glance it seems that without question, we should believe everything. That doesn’t make sense given all of the wisdom the bible says we’re to pursue.
One commentary I read summed it up beautifully…
“Love puts the most favorable construction on everything, and is ever ready to believe whatever may tend to the advantage of any one character. And when it can no longer believe well, it hopes whatever may excuse or extenuate the fault which cannot be denied. Where it cannot even excuse, it hopes God will at length give repentance unto life.”
Do I give people the benefit of the doubt? And when I can’t…do I truly hope the best for them, through Christ?
Or do I dwell on the assumed, or even obvious shortcomings or someone…holding my own agenda close so that I, in my own power, can protect it?
Love believes all things.
Maybe it’s time that I started to believe in that kind of love.