“Just trust me!”
A phrase that is usually first met with MORE skepticism than was first present in the trustee. When you hear the phrase, “Just trust me”, it usually makes you wonder if you should. We are, by nature, not trusting.
It certainly feels like we have a tighter grasp on what is best for us than anyone else could. How could we trust the advice of someone else when it goes against what we would do? Why would we allow our power of choice-making to fall into the hands of anyone else?
Because we trust them.
Sometimes, other people know things we don’t. Especially the more seasoned among us. It is not universally true of everyone who has more time under their belt, but in general, the more experience in life, the more wisdom. And sometimes, the wisdom from another does not fit snugly with the choice we are about to make, or would like to make.
Whether in the form of a warning, or an admonition, or any sort of advice given, we tend to be skeptical of words of wisdom from people other than ourselves.
Is that natural? Is that normal? In a way. We should be skeptical of Joe Blow on the street who offers his two cents. No matter how wise it may sound, there is no reason for you to believe him. We should be skeptical of Joe Preacher on the TV who offers us his advice. No matter how sweet it may sound, there is no relationship to back it up.
Therein lies the key.
Trust comes only from relationship. The closer the relationship, the tighter the bond, the deeper and freer the trust. I can not think of a relationship where I implicitly trust, no questions asked, and that is an indication that everyone in my life has somehow “lost” my trust along the way. OR, that I still think that I am all-knowing.
All of us are fallible, so the first part is certainly true, however I do believe that a majority of the blame for my mistrust of others falls on my shoulders. I do not trust others because I still think I know best.
In the garden of Eden, Eve sinned, and Adam sinned, not because they were evil people, but at the root, they sinned because they did not trust God. They were egged on by the snake… but ultimately, they ate the fruit God asked them not to because they did not trust him. He didn’t really mean not to… It couldn’t really be that bad… Maybe he’s just trying to keep us down! I won’t die…
But they did. And we did. And we will.
All because they could not trust him. And we continue that heritage every day. Every sin is rooted in our level of trust of our Father. Whether it is a big bold breakage of one of the heralded Ten Commandments, or something undetectable to the rest of the world, our level of trust determines our behavior.
The cool thing is, as damning as that sounds, the ultimate culpability is not on us. The blame was placed squarely, and voluntarily, on Jesus’ shoulders.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that we might become his righteousness.
We have the opportunity to become, to be the righteousness of God. That is not something we can attain, but rather something given to us. And in 1 Peter, we’re told that, “As we know Jesus better, his divine power has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” HIS divine power. Sinlessness is not something we can attain, but something he has given to us.
That is not an unknowable thing. I believe that sin is directly related to our level of trust in him. That means the more I trust my Father, the less I will sin. So do I just decide to trust? No. That’s not what trust is. Trust is developed over time, through relationship. As we know Jesus better… Perhaps that is what Peter was talking about? Perhaps all of life hinges on this? On knowing Jesus?
John 17:3 – And this is the way to have eternal life: to know you the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Jesus seemed to think that was pretty important. Relationship is the key. The more we know him, the more we trust him, the less we sin, the more we trust him, the more we know him, etc, etc, etc.
Repentance from sin is definitely our choice. But thankfully, the responsibility to clean up our act does not ultimately rest on us. God is the one who makes us clean. Righteousness comes from him. All we need to do is get to know him better, and the righteousness that is visible to others (and to us) will follow in direct proportion to our trust. Perhaps even greater proportion!
Life is better when we live it with our Father, our Creator, our friend. There is no better way. Everything else falls short.