Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Control is Not Trust. Trust is Not Control.

Trust isn't really trust when you can control the situation.

Trust is defined as reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

Control, on the other hand, is defined as to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command.

By its very definition, trusting involves relying on something.  Control doesn't rely, but actively dominates or commands.  This distinction stuck out to me the other day as I was considering a relationship where I had been wronged - lied to, betrayed - and was seeking ways to ensure I could know it wouldn't happen again.  I began to panic because it wasn't possible for me to know every situation and be in control of all matters.  And then it struck me.  If I am to continue the relationship, as I desired to, and build back trust in them, this was not the way to do it.  Eventually, I would have to stop trying to control and begin to trust.

My relationship with God is much the same.  I say I trust him, but usually that occurs simultaneously with my feelings of control and comfort being very high.  When I feel out of control, I struggle with relying on God.  Hence, I don't really understand what it means to trust God.  Because control is such a big part of my personality, embracing this new picture of trust feels like purposefully running into a thorn bush and letting it scrape you up.  Not a natural or even tolerable thing!

What has helped you practice an active, authentic trust in others and in God?

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