Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
- Proverbs 3:5-6
Today we’re going to be reflecting on wholehearted trust.
What does the proverb-writer mean when saying “trust in the Lord with all your heart?”
One clue to meaning in the Proverbs is to read the lines that precede and follow. The rhythm of Proverbs contains a lot of repetition to increase memorability and improve clarity. In this case, the line that follows the encouragement toward wholehearted trust give a clue to its meaning.
Wholehearted trust in the Lord looks like depending on him rather than your own understanding. It involves allowing the Lord to be the decider of good and evil, to receive rather than to steal from the tree of knowledge. Lean on the Lord rather than on yourself. Rest everything – your intellect and your emotions and your will – on the Lord who is worthy of trust.
Now, does trusting the Lord with all our hearts mean that we can’t trust others? We can look at that in more depth tomorrow. But the short answer is “No.” It is possible to both trust the Lord and to trust others. In fact, that’s what happens in healthy relationships.
Theologians talk about “primary relations” and “secondary relations.” Our relationship with the Lord forms our primary relationship and empowers all of our other relationships. Dr. Gary Deddo, commenting on Karl Barth writes: “The fulfillment of our primary relationship grounds the fulfillment of secondary relationship and not vice versa” (Karl Barth’s Theology of Relations: Vol. 2,by Gary Deddo p. 204). When we trust the Lord we’re better able to wisely trust others.
In what ways do you demonstrate trust in the Lord in your life? What does that look like for you?