Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Committed to Trust

In a recent New York Times editorial, David Brooks identified a problem facing our culture.

“A generation ago about half of all Americans felt they could trust the people around them, but now less than a third think other people are trustworthy…Young people are the most distrustful of all; only about 19 percent of millennials believe other people can be trusted. But across all age groups there is a rising culture of paranoia and conspiracy-mongering…The true thing about distrust, in politics and in life generally, is that it is self-destructive. Distrustful people end up isolating themselves, alienating others and corroding their inner natures.” – David Brooks

In 1 Thessalonians 2, we are given a glimpse into the ministry of Paul. An essential part of Paul’s ministry focused on establishing trust. He tells the Thessalonians that his motives are pure (1 Thess. 2:3-6). He points to his actions among them (1 Thess. 2:7-12). His relationship with the Thessalonians was like a “nursing mother taking care of her own children.” He shared the gospel but he also shared himself (1 Thess. 2:8). The Thessalonians knew they could trust Paul because of the sacrifices he was making in their presence (1 Thess. 2:9).

Trust does not happen on its own. It takes work. To share yourself with others involves risk. It takes people willing to be vulnerable. Someone has to take the first step. Someone has to be open before others open up. Once some level of trust is achieved, it must be nurtured. It should never be taken advantage of or abused, but instead it should be strengthened into a foundation for relationships and communities to thrive.

In an age of distrust, Christians are called to be something different. We need to be a people who build trust rather than tear it down. The church needs to be a place where trust is foundational. Christians need to be trustworthy. Distrust is destructive. People need individuals, communities, and systems in which they can trust. Christians can provide what people are looking for because we serve a God who is the epitome of trustworthiness. May we commit to the hard work of building trust by sharing ourselves so that God will be glorified.

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