Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The wrecking ball of mistrust

(Love) always trusts. (from 1 Corinthians 13:7)

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:

But Jesus.

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.
Do you?



Jenna said...

Thanks for sharing this, Erica. I can relate to the feelings you're talking about. It can be so hard to remember that ultimately we are responsible for our response to the things we encounter in our lives. If others are harboring the negativity that we think we are sensing, they will have to stand judgment for that before God. So, all in all, I suppose I would rather be hurt by another person here on earth because I trusted and loved and forgave than to disappoint God because I refused to do so.

j said...

oh, i have most certainly been guilty of this before! i have many times been the judge and have also been the one misjudged. your words spoke so beautifully of the power of Jesus...He alone can change, transform and renew. i have had to tap into that power many times and have been on the beautiful receiving end of HIs grace...where he replaces my judgements and hardened heart toward someone with love and grace i didn't think could exist or appear. all things asked for, surprisingly given, but understood that they could never come from me on my own. He is invested in our relationships. they matter to him. and the condition of our marred hearts matters even more.

thank you for this post...we often ignore or disregard our inner dialogue. He certainly did not give us a spirit of fear or timidity...mistrust and pride are born out of these things. much to think about.

if we all could embrace the power in His name

Kelli said...

Oh, Erica! How I love you! You speak words of wisdom and remind me often of things I have forgotten. Thank you for sharing your heart. Your beautiful spirit filled heart.

Kimberly Kirk said...

You need to write a book, my friend. You have great wisdom that God has given you. You write and explain in such simplicity without feeling judged or defensive, but instead convicted through kindness. Thank you for sharing what the Spirit revealed to you.

Woollard House said...

enjoyed our talk today. We love you all. Alyssa

Cam and Elisa said...

Thanks for sharing! Made me think. Thanks for letting God's challenging truths speak through you.
I wish that I lived close to your precious family sometimes. I am encouraged even with thousands of miles between us though! I appreciate your family and your passionate hearts! Thanks for being transparent!