Trust is Like a Muscle
Trust is like a muscle: the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. Like any muscle though, even after years of training, it can be torn apart in a matter of seconds. Trust is fragile and without it our families, our societies, our workplaces will tear themselves apart.
The issue of trust lies right at the heart of our understanding of sin. The Bible’s message is that we are made for a relationship with the living God. It is a relationship which is far from equal - he is the creator, the immortal, the one who stands outside of creation and who makes us in his image, capable of knowing and responding to his love. It is a relationship in which he shows himself again and again to be trustworthy, and where we have opportunity again and again to exercise our trust in him.
Think back to Eden - two trees: one, a tree of life and the other a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. These trees weren’t put there to cause humanity to sin, but they were put there to give humanity a daily opportunity to exercise and grow the muscle of trust. Every time Eve and Adam walked past and chose to not possess the ‘knowledge of good and evil’ was a time for them to show that they were content for the Lord to show them what is good and what is evil. Similarly, every time they chose to eat from the tree of life, they chose to anchor their entire being in this relationship of healthy dependency on God.
Sin, therefore, is so much more than (but also) an act of disobedience. It is first a decision to break the relationship of trust with the living God for which we were in the first place created. The serpent deceives; the serpent challenges the Lord’s word; the serpent tempts moral autonomy from God; humanity believes the lie and grasps at doomed equality with God.
Every time we run into situations of broken trust we are experiencing life in a broken world; life amongst people separated at birth from their creator. It hurts. It may leave us feeling violated or badly treated. An employer who fails us. A colleague who lies. A client who is deceitful. A relationship which is not as straightforward as it should be. Every time we encounter one of these broken-trust-situations, we are experiencing the consequence of sin.
By contrast, every time we show our trustworthiness to others - letting our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no” - we give those around us the opportunity to experience through us a “consequence” of our salvation!
During one quiet-time this week write down a list of your key work contacts - boss, colleagues, clients, co-workers, etc.; alongside each name, make a note of how well you trust them and how well they trust you. If any of these relationships are in a bad way make it your prayer for the Lord to show you how to build trust, and in so doing to build your trust in the Father and to demonstrate this "consequence of salvation" to those around you as part of your living witness to those you work with.