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Trust and Obey


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#1 Robert Sanford

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 07:02 AM

I Corinthians 13:7 reads “It (Love) always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” The good news is “always perseveres” seems redundant. So I can skip that for now. (Note to self: You know that’s going to come back to bite you. So I’d like to say I told you so now to avoid the rush.)

I was recently challenged that "Trust" is not merely a good idea or platitude, but is in fact a command. The context does seem to support the idea. Earlier in the passage, we are told to ”not be easily angered” and even to “keep no record of wrongs.” But, this seems naïve even dangerous. Where does wisdom intersect with this command? What kind of trust are we talking about here? Do I need to “trust” the sub-contractor that cheated me on the last contract? In even writing that sentence it seems I am keeping a record of being “wronged.” Is this simply a matter of because God said so and I need to trust and obey?
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#2 Julie Daube

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 10:02 AM

Wow, these are thought-provoking questions, Bob! I will have to think about this a little. I will be back another time with my thoughts after they simmer for a while.

#3 Julie Daube

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:20 AM

I Corinthians 13:7 reads “It (Love) always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” The good news is “always perseveres” seems redundant. So I can skip that for now. (Note to self: You know that’s going to come back to bite you. So I’d like to say I told you so now to avoid the rush.)

I was recently challenged that "Trust" is not merely a good idea or platitude, but is in fact a command. The context does seem to support the idea. Earlier in the passage, we are told to ”not be easily angered” and even to “keep no record of wrongs.” But, this seems naïve even dangerous. Where does wisdom intersect with this command? What kind of trust are we talking about here? Do I need to “trust” the sub-contractor that cheated me on the last contract? In even writing that sentence it seems I am keeping a record of being “wronged.” Is this simply a matter of because God said so and I need to trust and obey?

First, I think that when the Bible commands us to trust, it is most often in the context of trusting in God, not in other people. Looking at 1 Corinthians 13:7, I am not sure the verse is a command to trust everyone we encounter; it seems more like a description of the role that trust should play in the context of a relationship. Going beyond the sub-contractor example, let's look at an even riskier instance of trusting the wrong person: Should a woman trust a man who approaches her in a parking garage and asks for her help? The answer to this question has higher stakes when we consider that this is how at least one serial killer approached his victims.

Looking at it from another perspective, would we tell our children to trust everyone they encounter? Of course not - that would be an open door for potential abuse or even kidapping.

Would you trust a surgeon who lost his medical license because of malpractice? Would you buy a car from a manufacturer that was known for producing unsafe vehicles? I'm not even sure that would be good stewardship.

So, yes, wisdom would definitely intersect with any command to trust fallen human beings, who may not have our best interests at heart, or who may even be God's enemies. Part of this may simply boil down to not putting God to the test by refusing to exercise wisdom.

Interestingly, the hymn you alluded to, "Trust and Obey," seems to be about trusting in and obeying God, not man.

#4 Jay Turner

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:33 PM

It seems to me that one of the first things that we need to keep in mind is that no one knows the contents of anyones heart except for God. Because of this fact, we never know what someone is capable of, for good or evil.

Agape, Godly love, is not something that comes naturally for us. Actually it is probably as far from natural as it comes. I have come to realize that in many ways it comes down to being a choice. We will either choose to love or not.

We are commanded to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and that does mean that we should love the unlovable. But doesn’t the Bible also tell us that we are to seek God’s guidance in everything that we do? There may be times where He may give us a warning in our heart against someone who we deem reliable and trustworthy, while other times He will prompt us to trust those who have proven otherwise. We may never know why God directs us as He does, but just think of the kind of witness we could be by showing trust to someone who has been anything but trustworthy with us in the past. That one simple act could be all it takes to cause them to reexamine how they are living their lives.

So, should we trust the un-trustable and love the unlovable? Yes, of course. But we also need to know the voice of the Holy Spirit and be willing to follow the Spirit’s promptings in everything that we do.
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#5 Brian Rushfeldt

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 07:49 AM

Where does God ever say trust the untrustworthy ? Jesus did not trust the tax collectors - His love was to correct and dicipline them for their betterment.

#6 Denes House

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:48 AM

I think it's important to note that 1 Corinthians 13:7 was not dropped down from heaven in isolation, as a separate command. It appears in the middle of a discussion (1 Corinthians in general, but specifically chapters 12-14) of life within the Church, the way we should treat one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. "Love always trusts" is not a description of how we should always behave towards every person in all situations. It is written in the context of relationships within the church.

Now, that only blunts some of the difficulty. But within the church, within the existing context of a sibling relationship, it limits the damage of trusting the untrustworthy.
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#7 Robert Sanford

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:58 AM

I think it's important to note that 1 Corinthians 13:7 was not dropped down from heaven in isolation, as a separate command. It appears in the middle of a discussion (1 Corinthians in general, but specifically chapters 12-14) of life within the Church, the way we should treat one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. "Love always trusts" is not a description of how we should always behave towards every person in all situations. It is written in the context of relationships within the church.

Now, that only blunts some of the difficulty. But within the church, within the existing context of a sibling relationship, it limits the damage of trusting the untrustworthy.


The qualifier at the end of your post made me smile because the contractor in my illustrationis in the church.

#8 Jay Turner

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 09:02 AM

Where does God ever say trust the untrustworthy ? Jesus did not trust the tax collectors - His love was to correct and dicipline them for their betterment.


1 Corinthians 13.7 says, "Love always trusts", as Robert points out in his original post. This doesn't mean that we just trust those who have proven that they can be trusted, but instead that we show trust to everyone. Just look at the life that Jesus led while He lived here on earth. He invited Matthew, a tax collector, into his inner circle. Judas, who ended up betraying Jesus, was believed by many to be the treasurer for what money that Jesus and the Disciples had. Jesus also spent a great deal of time with prostitutes and tax collectors, and from what I see in scripture, what correction that He did was by simply showing them love and trust, even when they didn't necessarily deserve it.

Here is something that I find interesting about Jesus' ministry while He was here on earth. He dealt almost exclusively with the Jews, which would have been the church of the day. From what I can tell, the only times where He directly confronted anyone was with those who sat in places of spiritual authority or with those who were profiting off the worship of God. Jesus confronted the Priests, the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the likes, because people looked to them to see how to live as believers and worshipers of God. Yet instead of using their spiritual authority to honor and glorify God, and to point others to Him, they were using their power to benefit themselves. Then there was the account of when Jesus began to overturn the tables of the moneychangers at the temple. This is another case where they were lying and cheating the people to benefit themselves.

The point that I was trying to make is that we simply don't know who we can or cannot trust because we don't know the contents of peoples hearts. That is why it is so important to be seeking God's guidance in everything that we do. My understanding is that we should love and show trust to everyone, unless God shows us to do otherwise. Then we proceed as we feel He is leading us, that way we are not relying on our judgment of things, but instead on God's judgement.
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#9 Jay Turner

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 09:37 AM

For me, I tend to view the whole world as my church. Like with any local church, there are the believers and the unbelievers, there are those who are on fire for Christ and those who are along for the ride.

There is the verse where Jesus says, "Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there." When I read that verse, I see a picture and a model for the global church, the Body of Christ. I believe that the church is any situation where we come together with others and invite God into our interactions. Sometimes it can take on the form of sharing beliefs and talking about what Christ is doing in our lives. But other times it is about sharing wisdom about parenting or just spending time with our children. I believe that the church is simply coming together in unity with others and letting God be at the center of whatever we do.

For me, by taking this type of view of the church, it stops being about which doctrine is correct or about worship styles. Instead it becomes more about the people and letting God be a part of whatever I do. And since I never truly know where anyone sits spiritually, my hope is that through my life, I can help anyone that I come in contact with to take one more step in their spiritual journey. It seems by taking this type of attitude, it helps take me out of a place where I feel I need to judge where people are spiritually and lets me focus on where God is leading me in my day to day life.
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#10 Julie Daube

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:24 AM

I think that for believers, many of the issues surrounding trust will be influenced by how we are led by the Holy Spirit. Some of you may have heard this, but Nicky Cruz got saved in part because David Wilkerson chose to trust Nicky with an offering collection. Nicky first encountered David while he was street preaching; he threatened to kill David, and the preacher responded by telling Nicky how much Jesus loved him. Afterwards, David held an evangelistic meeting in Nicky's neighborhood. When Nicky heard about it, he decided to go and teach David a "lesson." Along with some of the members of his gang, Nicky headed for the arena where the rally was being held, on a bus sent by David. According to Nicky, when he arrived at the arena, he felt guilty about the things that he had done and started to pray. David preached and then asked Nicky's gang to take up a collection. Nicky and his gang went through the crowd and collected money. Going backstage, Nicky saw an exit, but was struck by the fact that someone had actually trusted him. The gang members told him to take the money and run, but he gave the money to David on stage. Later, David gave an altar call, and Nicky accepted Jesus.

So here is a case where human wisdom would tell us not to trust; but a man of God, in odedience to the Holy Spirit, chose to trust someone who was completely untrustworthy. The "moral" of the story: always obey the leading of the Holy Spirit, even when it makes no earthly sense.

#11 Brian Rushfeldt

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 07:26 AM

I agree we must be guided by Holy Spirit. That is most important.

I think I would look at the man who cheated you not as the church - but one man who may be a member of the body. Too often the "church" gets blamed for things - but it is an individual person we must look at.

As for 1 Corinthians love Chapter, Denes well points out the context of the whole thing, but it also depends upon which translation one reads if the word trust is there. "Believeth" is about entrusting - and not to split hairs but that I think is a little different function than trust. I entrust my soul to my Lord but would not entrust it to any other. I entrust my estate to my family but not to any other.

#12 Alan M Ross

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 06:17 AM

Trusting the untrustworthy is not what God calls obedience but in proverbs He called in folly. Love always trusts. I believe we are called to trust in Christ, trust in His Spirit within us...not just trust anyone. Good discussion.
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#13 Jay Turner

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 09:17 AM

Trusting the untrustworthy is not what God calls obedience but in proverbs He called in folly. Love always trusts. I believe we are called to trust in Christ, trust in His Spirit within us...not just trust anyone. Good discussion.


The point that I have been trying to make is that is is not our job to judge who is worthy of our love and who is not. We were commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves, even if our neighbor is not worthy of that love. Part of what that means is that we show our neighbors trust, even if they have proven themselves untrustworthy. Basically, we give them the benefit of the doubt, but continue to seek God for His wisdom and guidance in the situation. By doing this we are not taking it into our hands to judge our neighbor, but instead relying on God's judgment and His will for that situation.

#14 Tkulp

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 06:03 AM

I know that this is almost 10 years late but I believe that it has a current understanding in the body of Christ.

 

Love is a very misunderstood word in our society. Rarely if ever do you hear of the God type of love as expressed in Hebrews 12.

 

Also a big struggle in my own life to obey the directions that place the responsibility on my shoulders to go to a brother that has wronged me or one that I sense thinks that I have wronged him. I see the Word telling me to do my best to correct relationships where it is at all possible.

 

This I have found to be almost impossible in some situations, within my own thinking. John 17 expresses Jesus' prayer and desire for those that actively believe the gospel. Jesus wants to be one with us and live in us, thus we should be always obeying the Holy Spirit living in us rather than any other spirit that would mislead or confuse.

 

If I find it dificult to obey what appears to be the letter of the law or command, I turn it over to Jesus, who I am yoked with. I ask Him to set up the circumstances that He wants to happen, without my workings or knowledge, and than tell me, in my spirit, what to do and I will obey.

 

For me that takes the load off of my mind and rests the entire matter in His hands.

 

I remember, on one occasion, that I did not obey. I felt so awful that I still to this day never want to fail in that regard again.

 

Our eyes should always be on Jesus and His Holy Spirit. That is what we should Trust and Obey.

 

Remember that Satan is the accuser that is continually attempting to confuse and destroy our relationships with the Divine.