Light bulbs went off this morning over the buzz of a hairdryer and prayers sent flying up with strands of my hair. It seems the Spirit speaks louder than the 90 decibels roaring in my right ear.
Have you ever had the nagging feeling that someone really, really doesn't like you? You swear you're not paranoid, its just...well, your phone calls go unanswered, texts never returned, a lot of blanks stares, & 'suggestive' clues. Or how about that person that you have all 'figured out'? You see through them...see straight to their motives, and somehow everyone else is fooled. But not you.
Sounds harsh to say out loud, but often our spoken word is much kinder than our inner dialogue. Jesus says our inner dialogue is as important as our outward graces:
"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment..." Matthew 5:21-22
I have been stricken with the sheer amount of mistrust in my heart toward others. And Jesus spoke to that this morning.
When I make assumptions about someone's intentions toward me, I am, in effect, sitting in judgement of their heart. I suppose it has never crossed my mind before, but what if I were wrong? What if the way I have interpreted another's words, body language, silence is not at all what I think it is? I have made an agreement in my spirit about this person...casted on them a sin they did not commit, branded them with attitudes of which they are innocent.
Its like the movie, Inception. If you haven't seen it - you must. Spiritual warfare works much in this way. Once the 'idea' is planted - "She must not like me."; "He is so prideful."; "All she is after is attention."; etc - and we agree (rather than reject it), it becomes reality to us. Even if the thought could be nothing further from the truth. Our assumptions become our own tangled web of reality, and we begin to treat this person as if the assumed interpretation of their actions is their character. At this point, we have now entered the Danger Zone, friends. The wrecking ball of mistrust is in full swing destroying the bond of love between brothers and sisters, fathers and sons...best friends and spouses...the list goes on and on.
And if we really want to get down to the dirty, ugly truth about our fallen natures
, why do we mistrust others in the first place? Are we afraid other's success will invalidate our worth? Do we seek another's approval, and when we don't get it we feel threatened? Do we want that relationship, body, job, house, status that they have? James 4:1 has something to say about our messy relationships:
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?
Yes. The ugly, selfish, Me-Monster with an insatiable desire for self-exhortation.
And now the beauty:
Our desires war within us...But Jesus.
I feel unloved...but Jesus.
I am inadequate...but Jesus.
I love imperfectly...but Jesus.
Jesus changes everything. He redeems our fallen nature. Gives us power to choose trust over mistrust, love over suspicion, a desire to protect rather than a desire to expose. And he offers our souls life, His life. When the creator speaks meaning, love, value over us, we no longer need the creature to fill our desires, freeing us to love without stipulation. To trust without fear. To offer forgiveness that is undeserved, mercy that is unmerited, and the benefit of a doubt when our instincts pull us toward mistrust.
Love always trusts.