Monday, March 3, 2014

Can you Trust until you Agree

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight

We have a lot of disagreements at my house.....A LOT.  Generally, the main disagreerer is my 4 year old son.  There is very little that he likes to agree to.  Especially about things he has already made up his mind about.  For some reason he is very sensitive to "hot" temperatures.  Once he has decided that something is too hot(food, bath) he is convinced that he can NEVER touch it. 

(On an unrelated note, when he was about 9 months old I once fed him boiling hot baby food without first checking the temperature....he cried for a reallllllly long time.)

When it comes to the bath it is almost comical how incapable he is of putting even a toe into the water if he thinks it is too hot.  His baby sister can be happily swimming around in it, but that doesn't matter.  If we gently splash him with the water to show him it is ok it causes hysterical crying...

It is pretty obnoxious......

The problem we have, and most parents have with kids, is not that we can't get our kids to agree with us on something, but that our kids don't TRUST us about something.  My sons mind is made up already.  I can't argue him into agreeing with me.  It is so ingrained in his head, that even the lukewarm water "feels" boiling hot.  What needs to happen is for him to trust his daddy.  To trust that I would not throw him in boiling water and hurt him.  To trust that I know more than he does, and when I do something to/for him I am doing it in love for his good. 

When we wait to be convinced that we agree with someone or something, we never really move forward.  We are great at arguing.  If you bring up "this" point. I will point out "that" problem.  At the heart of our "disagreements" is that we fundamentally refuse to place our trust in each other. 

Trust undermines the need for agreement.  When we trust, we act rooted in that trust with the expectation that agreement will occur naturally.  This leads us to not worry about the "details" but to instead fully engage with that person and what they are telling us.

If my son was so deeply rooted in trust in his dad he might have some anxiety about the temperature of the water, but one word from me about its "safeness" would be enough to step in boldly.  Then he would find that he could agree that it was indeed fine. 

There are so many things we struggle with biblically and personally when it comes to God.  In our modern age we find ourselves demanding some sort of absolute, airtight, rock solid, measuring system to evaluate our agreement with God.  When something doesn't make sense to us, we throw the whole thing out.  Especially when it comes to the issues close to our heart.

Sexual sin.





So we end up standing outside of moving forward because we are waiting for it to either be conclusively settled in some sort of manner that we can agree to, or, for it to be proven wrong, so we can jettison the whole thing.  We start with the presupposition that God can't be trusted.  It might not be something we say out loud, but it is the functional reality of our behaviors and actions. 

And like a four year old we often refuse to even acknowledge that the water is demonstrably not too hot.  We become so worried that maybe it really is going to hurt, so we are ready to put up a fight for every inch.

Because we don't trust.

Now, before you accuse me of anti-intellectualism, and blind sheeping...let me point out that all of significant interpersonal relationships, that are healthy, are built on trust, not pre-agreed upon agreement.  As we invest in a person we learn to trust them, even when we might not initially agree with them.  And we hope that they trust us as well.

God is not a "religion".  He is a person, He became a person in the flesh as Jesus Christ.  We are made for a relationship with him, not a religion with him.  As we approach the things he has said, and he has called us to, we are called to trust him, even when we might not initially agree with him.  To taste and see that He is good. 

And isn't that a great thought.  God doesn't say, agree that what I am is good, he says, trust me, taste and see that I am good.  To even get to the point of tasting, you have to trust him.  After you have trusted, and then tried it, you are now equipped to agree with Him. 

Proverbs 3 makes a powerful point.  Trust, not lean on knowledge.  Do you trust that God WILL make your paths straight.  Because I guarantee that you are just like me, when I do it my own way, my path is anything but straight.  It is a painful mess. 

There is never any way to know what tomorrow will hold.  Whether the water you look at is too hot.  But if God is who He says he is;  Good, Just, Righteous, Loving.  Then we can trust him when he says to "come this way".  And we can then taste and see that His ways really are good.

Trust is important

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