“DOES THIS MEAN you should go about distrusting everybody you meet?”No. It would mean trust is something you give some human beings and not some. Trust is not just something you give to another human being. You don’t have to trust people to deal with them. Just deal with them as they are – imperfect people who can do weird and wrong things at times. It’s just like worship. If you have been conditioned to worship God and some human beings, then suddenly a message comes that should worship only God, it may upset you and make you feel unusual if you don’t worship the people you used to worship before. It’s natural. What you have to do is unlearn trusting people and give only God your trust. So instead of saying to your husband, “I trust you.” Say to him, “I trust God that He will keep you.” Study all the promises of God and statements of truth for and about those who trust Him. Over time, you will find that you are a new person. You don’t trust any human being. Your trust belongs to Jehovah only and you know what? You will be unshakable, unmovable, you will be like Mount Zion that abides forever. (Psalm 125:1)
“Many books on marriage teach that we must trust our spouse, even Christian books. How come they don’t know that God said we should not trust?”For any person to know something, he or she has to come in contact with the knowledge. If someone doesn’t have the right knowledge, he can’t teach the right knowledge. Christians should base their doctrines on the Bible only. But, unfortunately people teach what they have heard from other people at times without taking time to search the scriptures for the right teaching. When a teaching has been circulating for a long time, people often make the assumption that the teaching is correct. This has proven to not be the case on many issues.
So, what you can do for yourself is always approach books written by men with a critical mind. Not to prove them wrong but to confirm what they teach from the scriptures. If someone teaches something and gives you a scriptural reference, later go and read that scripture for yourself.
Some people make out a question to be like a bad thing. It is not. Questions don’t mean you are trying to prove anybody wrong. It just means you want to prove what is right and be sure that it is right so that you are unshakable in your beliefs. Jesus’ disciples asked him a lot of questions. So, questioning a teaching doesn’t mean that you hate the teacher or that the teaching is wrong or that you are an agent of the devil. Even God invites us to the reasoning table. He says, “Come let us reason together.” “Bring forth your strong reasons.” There’s nothing wrong with thinking. In fact the quality of your mind is so important to God that He gives you the spirit of a sound mind and commands you to guard your heart with diligence because it is the pathway your mind, and also commands you to renew your mind.
Read the scripture within the context of it. If you have a concordance in your Bible (which I recommend for every Christian) use it and the topical index as well. A concordance lists scriptures with the exact word you are looking for. A topical index lists those scriptures and others related to the topic. You can also buy a concordance.
Also, note that a lot of meaning is often lost or changed in translation. Bible scholars agree that King James Version offers the most accurate English translation of the Bible. It also helps to have a Greek and a Hebrew Bible and translation dictionaries to help you understand better what the Bible truly says.
Be careful, also, to identify and distinguish between the following - a command, an instruction, an observation, a story, a report, parables, real stories, the words of God, words of men, a prophesy, a promise, a statement of truth, and so on. “Who is saying what and to whom?” These are very important. Great teachers do the above and the last one below.
Don’t forget that you have direct access to the Author of the Bible Himself. The Holy Spirit the inspiration for all scripture. He put it all together. So, ask Him whatever it is that bothers you or you don’t understand. He will teach you. You can TRUST Him.
“How do I deal with betrayal?”Obey God and do not trust any human being. Simple! If you don’t trust any human being, you would therefore have no expectations of perfection from the person. So, if the person fails you in anyway, you will not be betrayed because you never trusted the person in the first place.
“So, are you saying that the only person I should trust is myself and God?”Are you a human being? Yes. Then don’t trust yourself. Don’t trust in your abilities or your intelligence. You know that there are times you fail yourself and you can’t predict when it’s going to happen again. So don’t trust yourself too. Only trust God. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
“How can I then know who to marry given that I must feel safe around the person?”Use biblical principles to identify who you will marry. Trust is not one of them. God places only two conditions for us to choose our spouse – 1. The person must be a Christian. 2. The person you like. Your safety is in the LORD not in the hands of a human being. “The name of the LORD is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it and is safe.”
“But, in my church/my pastor teaches trust especially in marriage?”Almost everybody unknowingly teaches about trust in marriage; this does not mean they are bad people or they are not Christians, or that they are fake. No. It just means that they do not have the right knowledge and they themselves are also under ignorance – in this particular area. Nobody has perfect understanding, that’s what the Bible teaches us. Everybody is growing. There’s no perfect person or perfect teacher or perfect pastor. So, this is not a strong enough reason to leave your church for another.
“What can I do to help them/him/her?”It depends on the disposition of your pastor towards two-way communication. If he or she is the type that doesn’t engage the members at a thought level, it may be wise to avoid a direct communication.
If your pastor is open to communication, you may tell him or her that you would like to have a conversation in private on an issue that has been brought to your attention. Do not criticize him or say things like, “You have been misleading people.” Or “Your teaching on trust is wrong.” No, please.
If you do get a chance to have a face-to-face conversation – in private, please - people don’t like being corrected or taught new things in public, especially leaders, you may either discuss this teaching with him or just print it out and present to him as the issue you would like to discuss.
Before you go, pray that the Holy Spirit would take full control of your conversation. Speaking of trust, the Holy Spirit never fails.
Whatever the outcome of your discussion, don’t worry or feel bad if there is no immediate acceptance – you have done the needful. The rest is God’s to do and He said it, “Trust Me, I never fail.”
There’s one thing you should not do, however. Don’t start your own little study group where you oppose your pastor’s teachings in your church. It doesn’t reflect wisdom, it’s rebellion.
(c) 2011, Aziza Uko. This work is the original work of the author and copyrighted. It may not be reproduced in part or in whole in any form without the permission of the author and proper acknowledgement.