Our CONQUER Conference will be here in just 2 months. It’s hard to believe how wonderfully God is pulling everything together. We have 3 great main speakers plus 16 different workshops for you to attend. Many of the workshops have to do with difficult and destructive relationships so they will continue to help you build your CORE strength. You will find everything you need to know at www.leslievernick.com/conquerconference/.
Don’t delay – early bird registration ends August 31. I would love to meet all of you in person. I promise you it will be amazing!
Today I was reading in Psalm 57. In it, David said that he was “weary from distress” (verse 6). The cause? His enemies. Yes, we can get weary when we are constantly bombarded by lies, accusations, criticism, and cruelty. So what did David do to refresh himself? He praised and thanked God. Worship was his antidote to weariness. Taking his eyes off his feelings, and putting them on God’s unfailing love and faithfulness helped him reorient his mind, his spirit, and his body. This is a good reminder for all of us. Try it this week and let us know how you were refreshed.
Today’s Question: I am almost 3 years on the other side of my divorce and I still hear the arguments of my ex in my mind as to why I was selfish and unloving to our family by leaving. The latest hit was a few days ago when I heard someone reading the love chapter (1 Corinthians 13) on the radio. When they got to the part about love always trusts, I couldn't hold back the tears because since I was a child, I've taken the scriptures so literally and if I was to err, I'd err on the side that would require me to change.
I desperately want to follow Christ. I was married for 20 years before I finally got to the end of worrying about ‘doing it all right'. I just knew I needed to learn to think for myself again and remember who I was.
I felt like I was about to go crazy if I stayed any longer. I knew it would be hell to go through (and it was!) but I couldn't keep sweeping things under the rug in the name of ‘giving him grace'. Trust was broken time and again. I got plenty of apologies, but no follow through or making amends.If I tried to confront or tell him how his behavior was affecting me, I was told I was selfish, judgmental or condemning. I'm sure I could've come across that way because I was usually reacting in the pain of the moment. Or I would try and try to show empathy, grace, and forgiveness, but resentment was still building up and instead, it eventually boiled over onto him.
I guess my question is narrowed down to, ‘why does love always trust?' Or better yet, HOW does love ALWAYS trust?!
It's so hard for me to even think about entering into another relationship because of the issues that I had to deal with throughout my marriage thinking that it was normal or expected of me to just ‘deal with it' and keep going. In my mind, there was no way out.
Divorce was not an option. I can honestly say I loved him and wanted our relationship to be healthy, but how could I trust him when the same behavior and table turning continued? And how do I trust a man again after what I've experienced with the only man I've ever loved?
Answer: This is a great question because it shows us how easily we can get thrown off track with a Biblical talk that doesn’t take into account the big picture.
On the radio, you heard someone speaking on 1 Corinthians 13, where it says “Love believes all things”, or as the NIV translation states, “love always trusts.”
What that means is that loving someone puts a lens on your eyes that sees the best about him or her, that “see” that person’s potential and what he or she “could” become.
There are many individuals who have problems with trust because of past betrayals. Just like you feel right now, they are afraid to trust again. They look with cynicism or skepticism at others and assign bad motives to a person’s behavior without any evidence to back up their interpretation.
For example, “He brought me those flowers just because he wants sex tonight.” Or “He said he was sorry, but I know he didn’t mean it.” When we have thoughts like this, we immediately assign bad motives to the other person even when our thoughts are not true. Because we think them, we believe them. This habit builds walls and fractures relationships.
That’s why God calls us to give people the benefit of the doubt. He wants us to trust and believe in people because that is what’s required in order to have healthy loving relationships. He wants us to be like Him, who extends the benefit of the doubt, even to those who have messed up and disappointed us, hoping that they will show us that they’ve changed.
Yet, God also calls us to love our enemies. But does that mean we place full trust in our enemy? I don’t think so or they wouldn’t be considered an enemy. What if our enemy hasn’t repented or acknowledged what he or she did that was hurtful? Do we foolishly trust people who repeatedly show us that they are untrustworthy?
I don’t think that’s what the rest of the Bible teaches. For example Proverbs 25:11 says, “Putting confidence (trust) in an unreliable person in times of trouble is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.”
Jeremiah 7:4 warns “Do not trust in these deceptive words” and later laments “Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, for every brother is a deceiver and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer” Jeremiah 9:4.
Micah warns, “Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms” Why? He goes on and says why. “For the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house” Micah 7:5-6. When people are repeatedly hurtful, continued trust in them to behave differently than they’ve always behaved is to your own peril.
In that passage about love in 1 Corinthians 13, it also says love does not rejoice in wrongdoing but love rejoices with the truth.” When the truth shows you that someone has been consistently deceitful, that actually helps you realize that although you may still care about him, you cannot believe what he says. Not because you are being unreasonable, but because the truth tells you that this person doesn’t tell the truth. In a weird sort of way, you can trust him not to tell you the truth.
Jesus himself did not “entrust himself to them, because he knew all people, and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what is in a man” John 2:23.
This sounds contradictory because Jesus did love everyone unconditionally. He believed in his disciple Peter even after he failed him and trusted him to build his church. Yet there were those he didn’t “rely” on or “trust – as our language describes” because he knew that they were not safe to trust. Their consistent unrepentant behaviors broke trust.
In another biblical example, the apostle Paul ( 1 Corinthians 13) warns young Timothy, “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message” (2 Timothy 3:9). In other words, Paul is telling Timothy not to trust Alexander considering how he harmed Paul. He wasn’t telling Timothy not to love Alexander.
Therefore, I don’t think 1 Corinthians 13 is speaking about every relationship. Yes, ideally love trusts, but I think we can love our drug addicted child, want what’s best for him or her, yet not trust them with $100 because they will be tempted to get high, nor do we have a good relationship with him or her. I think we can believe in the potential of our destructive spouse, the man he could become, without believing what he is telling us in the moment, because of his history of lying to us.
Broken trust is a real and tragic relational consequence of someone’s poor behavior, especially when that same behavior is repeated over and over again (tweet that).
I don’t think God is asking us to foolishly put our own well-being in the hands of someone who has consistently shown that he or she does not have our welfare in mind.
Friends: Have you wrestled with this passage in Scripture about love always trusting? How have you come to peace with it?
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