Wednesday, February 18, 2009

extending trust

Disclaimer: I am not speaking of verbal or physical abuse, for I have limited experience, and no expertise in that department. Some forms of betrayal would be foolish to forget completely. I am expounding more about character flaws, instances of stupidity and offence, and general human nature.

I understand that “trust” and “forgiveness” are not exactly synonyms.

But truly forgiving when it comes to human nature and disappointments, I believe, incorporates trust, and without the trust, the forgiveness is incomplete.

Here’s a scenario. I invite my dear brother for dinner and he commits to be there, but at the last second he calls to say he is tired and he won’t be coming. I invite him again the following week and he pledges his attendance, but the time comes for dinner with no word from him. I forgive him and love him anyway but I can…

A. Stop inviting him for dinner
B. Invite him but not count on him
C. Invite him and expect him to be there

I assert that the greatest happiness in forgiveness comes as we extend love with 100% sincerity and confidence in the people around us.

How many times have I been prompted to do something through an inspiration from the Lord, and decided to ignore the feeling? Many, many times. But He keeps sending me promptings, He keeps intrusting His great work to me. What if the Lord said to himself, “Well, what’s the point, she won’t do it any way” or even, “I’ll send her a prompting but I still think she is a total flake.” He loves us and trusts us over and over again.

I know when my trust is broken through a character flaw of someone I know, I am very likely to label them and categorize them in my mind. Susie always puts her foot in her mouth, Ralph never sticks to anything. How are these labels helping your good feelings for these people? How are you following the Lord’s example of “remembering no more”? Wouldn’t the best approach be, “I know Susie has said things in the past that were hurtful, but I love her, I forgive her, and I know she can and will do better.”

I have been thinking about why we don’t trust again easily. I think it has much to do with our inability to let go of labels, our tendency to take the actions of others far too personally, and our lack of faith in the power of the Lord to change hearts and lives.

Letting Go: The more I think to myself that my husband is a messy person who doesn’t care about my feelings when it comes to chores, the more it seems to be true. We are the narrators of our own stories. I choose the tone and voice in the record of my life, and the account I give of the people around me. What is a lack of confidence if not holding past offences in my mind to prohibit my trust? And if I am holding onto these offences, have I truly forgiven? Rip off the labels in your relationships and start each day fresh! What’s to loose? If you are let down, you can apply the process as many times as you like!

Have a sense of humor: We all have different manors, upbringing, thought-processes, etc. and to hold each person to my ideas of how one should act, may be a little ego-centric of me. When others do things that don’t make sense, we can remember that the Lord created us to be different to help us learn from each other, and find joy in the complexity of each soul. There are few people who are on a mission just to make you mad. Don’t take the follies of others so personally; it only will bring darkness into your life.

The Lord can do all things: A person CANNOT be a lost cause. The Lord has power to change us from the natural man to be like Him. There is symbolism in potty-training, stay with me on this one. Sparky peed his pants 7 times in 3 hours the first day. Yuck. 3 times the next day, no accidents the next two days and nights, and then had a huge accident the next morning and fell off the potty-wagon. Do I decide he is not ready to potty train because he failed? I felt discouraged and unsure. But then I though, “he can do this, I know he can.” That confidence in him does not change through the accidents. I know he can do it. That is why I haven’t given up. The Lord knows we can do it. He doesn’t give up on us, and when we look at the people around us with the same confidence, love, and trust, they will feel it. This can only help them to be better.

Conclusion: Extend yourself. Don’t be afraid to trust because you can have incredible bounce-back ability as you apply complete forgiveness time and time again. You choose how your feel about the people around you, and your feelings will either hurt or help them. You are changing each moment and so are your loved ones, so don’t freeze them in your mind, inhibiting their progress. Life is a circus, and although you may feel like the ringleader, you are actually a clown, just like everyone else.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This post was such a big encouragement for me today! Thank you!
"Rip off the labels in your relationships and start each day fresh!" Today was a day of labels and little trust in my relationship, but I am so encouragend now to trully extent my trust. Cause the beloved one really desirves it. Thank you, again, for these words (and photos)!