TRUST AND FEELING SAFE
Colossians 3:12 Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
“Trust is confidence that the other person’s intentions are good and that we have no reason to be protective or careful around them” says Jim Belcher in his book Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional. If we are to feel safe in conversation, safe to be truthful and open, safe to expose our fears, convictions, and hopes, safe enough to risk asking hard questions, admitting deep doubts, or voicing strong disagreement, we must be able to trust those with whom we are talking.
Treating people as those made in God’s image, loving them as St. Paul defines love in 1 Corinthians 13 means wanting them to be able to trust us even – or especially – when we happen to disagree with them. The fact they may not return the favor is beside the point.
If it is true that we are chosen, if it is true that we are set apart to God by grace, if it is true that we are actually beloved of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – these realities mean that meekness is possible. I need not try to be God, or try to fix you, or to control the conversation so it ends where I am most comfortable. I am called simply to be gracious moment by moment, because God through Christ has been gracious to me. Being gracious makes sense because grace is the only thing of value I have, and since I received it as a gift, I can offer it in turn, and be grateful for the opportunity, whatever transpires. Being gracious is possible because in the gospel we have been granted grace, and God’s Spirit who arrives to take up residence within our very being proves his presence by causing fruit to grow that flows out into a lifestyle of shalom and loveliness.
This is what inspires confidence and trust, and makes us safe.
Critique: 2011 Issue 2 by Denis Haack, pg. 1.