Friday, June 7, 2013

Ingredient #11 - Trust (Love - Part 13)

"...believes all things..."
I Corinthians 13:7

Journey's famous song, "Don't Stop Believing", was the battle cry of the 2005 White Sox as they fought their way to the World Series Championship.  My husband and I are big Sox fans (hope I don't lose all my Michigan readers) and that song was ringing in my ears for months.  As I write this, the current White Sox have lost the last 7 or 8 games in a row, but do I lose hope?  Nope!  Because true fans love their team and they believe all things...the Cubs' fans are great examples of this true love!

Our next ingredient is belief, or as I put it, trust.  When you believe all things, you are choosing to trust the one you love.  In light of all the forgiveness in the pot, this trust naturally will flow from a forgiving heart.  Since we are commanded to love our neighbors and our enemies, as well, adding trust to our simmering pot is very difficult.  When it comes to our enemies - who can trust their enemy?  And when it comes to everyone else, needs to be earned, right?  If trust is broken, can we really just blindly choose to trust again?

Let's start with a simple example of this from Genesis 4.  Cain and Abel are brothers with different professions but both choose to bring an offering to the Lord.  We aren't given the instructions that God lays out for this offering but by God's response, we know there were instructions. Abel and his offering are accepted but Cain and his offering were rejected.  This caused Cain to become depressed (his countenance fell) and angry.  But God does not walk away and say, "I know this guy - he doesn't stand a chance. He's selfish and as long as he refuses to obey, his life is gonna stink."

No, God sits Cain down and says to him, "Don't you know if you do what is right, your countenance will be lifted?"  In other words, being obedient will make you feel better.  In this one statement, I see trust within God's character.  Some people want to think that God sits up in heaven and roots against us, so that His wrath can be displayed. But God loves us and wants us to choose obedience. He believed that if Cain would choose obedience, that his life would be different...better.

We know the end of the story - Cain doesn't choose obedience, but in an angry rage, kills his brother  and lives the rest of his life with the consequences of his actions.  This does not diminish the counsel or trust of God. This simply speaks to Cain's hardened heart.

There will be those who we choose to trust who will disappoint and hurt us.  This does not diminish our responsibility to obediently choose to believe all things or trust again, but rather it points to a hardened heart - we are not responsible for that.  But what about the heart who responds to trust?

If we go back to Cain, what if he had heeded God's instructions and brought back an offering that God accepted?  How different would his life have been?  Do you think God would have held his original offering over his head and been like, "Well, you're good now but don't ever forget I gave you a second chance?"  No way - remember, trust flows from forgiveness and God chooses to put our sins far away from us.  His love would have wrapped his arms around Cain and cheered him on.

When we choose to love, in good relationships it's easy, but in difficult relationships, it's going to be....well...difficult.  But it is Christ like and it is life-changing if we do it God's way.

Who do you need to restore your trust in?  Who do you need to ask forgiveness for not loving as God would have you love?  We're getting to the final few ingredients but the recipe is not necessarily getting easier, unless we acknowledge that we have already been given all the ingredients in a starter kit from God.  The love He extends to you is a powerful source to allow you to love others.

(Update:  Since I started this post my White Sox won one and then lost again...don't stop believing!)

1 comment:

  1. The Sox were supposed to win on the 4th...sorry about that!