Thursday, July 22, 2010

Trust and Respect

It’s sad to think that in light of building healthy relationships and Biblical community - at home, church, workplace, small groups...that there may be someone who does not respect or trust you. Maybe the mistrust is justified. Could it possibly be that I acted or said something that made someone wince in thought and heart? Maybe I didn’t say something or looked a certain way or seemed to act cold and am being evaluated, even judged for an innocent oversight?

How do I build trust with someone who is afraid to come forward to say they were hurt by me in some way? How do I build trust and gain respect with someone who has a chip on their heart and they seem to be cold and calloused towards me? What about the person who smiles on the outside, but the fragrance of division and mistrust is an odor I can smell?

So I offered a young Christian, confused, hurt and saddened... the true statement: People in the church can be hypocritical. Like you and I, they are growing slowly into His image. They may say one thing, but struggle to live it out because they have buried hurt and pain in their lives. Yes, there are some insincere people who come to church, BUT...we must choose the way of Jesus love. It’s unfortunate that Christians can’t get along or at least learn to resolve differences and conflict. It’s tough, dirty, smelly and sad - but true. Let’s trust the love and grace of Jesus, the cross of forgiveness and wholeness, the hope of restoring respectful, trustworthy relationships. Let’s not allow our hearts to grow silent, cold and bitter. Let’s seek the heart of Jesus and pray for compassion for others - even when they are indifferent, unfriendly.

Then the life giving Word of God which we prayed over the church and our hearts:

Proverbs 3:3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.