Hey guys, I’ve had this thought that I’m about to share typed up for a while, honestly, long before I had a blog or a website or was even in full time ministry, I put this thought to paper. And I’m going to let it out in the world to breath now and see how it does! It doesn’t necessarily follow any theme that we’ve had going on inside the ministry lately, but it’s something that I feel is very applicable for everyone because it deals with forgiveness and getting over hurt in our lives which is something that we’ve all dealt with in some capacity. It’ll help to have an understanding of God’s trust in His people, so if you want a little bit clearer description of how God trusts us or if it’s a question you have on whether or not he does, go check out my blog about Co-Laboring with God. That will definitely bring some clarity to the idea.
As some of you guys may have heard, I recently had an accident with a table saw and my thumb was the casualty. I cut into my thumb and almost completely through the bone, so needless to say, typing is a bit cumbersome and because of the heavy pain killers that I’ve been on, thinking is a bit of a struggle too. And that’s the reason it has been a while since my last post. So I apologize for that, but I’m recovering, doing better now and ready to get back on the horse. So here’s a thought that I’ve been storing up for a rainy day, and as always, I hope it blesses you guys and if it does, be sure to let me know! Smash that like button and share to your hearts content. It really does me a huge favor and above all else, it encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing. Thanks guys! Much love!
How many of us have heard this, “Trust has to be earned. Forgiveness is freely given but trust is earned.”? I’m sure all of us have, it’s a cliché as old as time, people say it every single time that somebody betrays them. Every time somebody does something hurtful or demeaning, our go to for shutting that person out in the future is, “Well trust has to be earned. You did this before and betrayed my trust and ‘if I can’t trust you Greg, then I have no choice but to put you outside off the circle. And once you’re out, you’re out. There’s no coming back.'” Okay, if you don’t understand the circle of trust reference then you guys really need to go watch “Meet the Parents”; it’s a great movie, I’m a huge Robert DeNiro fan.
The point is, often times, when we say that trust has to be earned, the reality is that what we’re really doing is harboring insecurities and using trust as an excuse to let those insecurities fester and grow. And let’s just be clear, insecurities are always a lie from the pit of Hell and we should never harbor them and create a safe place for them to reside. One of my favorite teachers, Bill Johnson, says, “When you legitimize a dysfunction, you create a place for it to reside and actually grow.” We often times legitimize the dysfunction that are our insecurities by saying that we can’t trust people.
We’ve all seen this, and done it in our own lives; and I would present that it’s not a matter of trusting somebody, it’s a matter of betrayal. If trust is the virtue then betrayal is the antithesis of that virtue, it is the insecurity that is created by a breach of trust. And almost always, as humans, we don’t have the ability to let it simply be a matter of trust, it almost always turns into a problem of harboring an insecurity or fear of betrayal.
Think about it, a friend talks behind your back; you now let that be a life lesson to be careful what you share with people; not just with that person, but with anybody. Because, if there’s one thing that experience has taught you it’s that you never can trust anybody in confidence. So you lose an intimate part of your relationship with a lot of people because one person betrayed your trust. Why? Not because there isn’t anybody who is trustworthy; it’s because you’re afraid to be betrayed again like that one person betrayed you. The betrayal has created an insecurity that now applies as an umbrella over your life and all your relationships rather than just an isolated incident of breached trust in one interaction. I’m not saying we always do this, but we have all done it at some point or another.
And the ugly thing about insecurities is that Satan has a nasty way of making them multiply like fleas. Or rabbits if you’ve never seen how fleas multiply, they are outright relentless. Someone breaks your trust, so it turns into an insecurity about betrayal. Which then turns into an insecurity of not feeling worthy, which turns into an insecurity about the way you see yourself both physically and emotionally. And at the end of it, you have nothing but questions and you don’t even know what truth even looks like, and you have questions about your very existence and you can see where this leads. This is how Satan works, he takes one little dysfunction that we’re willing to hold on to and then he just cultivates it into so many other things and before you know it, the whole house is covered in fleas.
So how do we combat this in our own lives? How do we both trust people, yet safeguard our hearts in a way that doesn’t translate into harboring dysfunction in our lives? Well, the simple answer is that we can’t. Now to be clear, when I talk about trusting people I’m not talking about harboring fugitives, being smart about your interactions with certain people is crucial to protecting yourself. Scripture talks about that too. But what I’m referring to here is when someone you care about who also genuinely cares about you, acts against you whether on purpose or by accident but forgiveness and trust and moving forward with the friendship or relationship is at the forefront of the conversation, that’s what I’m talking about. There’s a separate conversation to be had about the type of company you keep and dishonest and malicious people in general, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.
So let’s talk about the spirit of forgiveness for a minute. What does forgiveness look like, practically? I’m not talking about generic forgiveness, I’m talking about real life, applicable forgiveness. What does it look like? Well, in my experience, forgiveness is working really hard, every single day, to undo the damage that somebody else did to your heart so that you can still see them in the light that Christ sees them in. To date, that is the best definition of forgiveness that I can come up with in my own life. It’s taking on the chore of working and repairing the damage to your own heart that you didn’t even dcausein the first place and not doing it bitterly but doing it gladly and without expectation so that you can continue to see the person that did the damage in the light that Jesus does. And ultimately, if you look at the cross and what Jesus did, that’s exactly what He did so that God could continue to see us in perfect light. Jesus worked and died to repair the damage that we did to God’s heart through sin so that God could continue to see us as His perfect children. God sent His son to die so that He could continue to trust us. And that was all through the lens that our chance of failure was 100% when it comes to betraying that trust. He knew that we were, guarantees, going to betray His trust, yet He sent Jesus to die anyways so that He could only see us as perfect and continue to trust us.
So now ask yourself, weigh our definition of forgiveness, is there a way to both forgive somebody and yet harbor distrust towards someone? I don’t think there is. Is there anything that resembles the nature of God in making somebody earn your trust? I don’t think that there is. In fact, I would present that more often than not, making somebody who has betrayed you earn your trust carries more resemblance to the work of the enemy than the work of the Lord. I knows this is a bit edgy and it’s something that might bring some resistance and disagreement, but forgiveness and trust are not separate issues. They are closely linked and we are called to forgive and therefore implicitly, we are called to trust in people. We are called to be a people that makes amends and brings peace. And this conversation of forgiving like Jesus and what that looks like practically in our lives is the key to releasing that peace and sparking revival and restoration in our own lives. Be blessed in this and be carriers of the spirit of revival because a spirit of revival is a spirit of improvement.