Show Love—Be Trusting
LOVE manifests itself in many happifying ways. One of these is by being trusting. As long ago written in that fine essay on love by the apostle Paul: “Love . . . believes all things.” That is, it believes all God says in his Word, though one may not be able fully to grasp all of it and at times it may sound impossible because at present men do not know all the facts and have no scientific explanation for certain things. Paul’s words, however, also state a basic principle, that by nature love is trusting; it is not unduly suspicious of others.—1 Cor. 13:4, 7.
Since God is love, he is also trusting. Certainly he has trusted his angelic hosts through all the aeons of time since their creation. Likewise God trusted the first human pair, Adam and Eve. He could have looked into the future and seen what they would do, but he did not; he had neither the need nor the desire to do so. Rather, he showered his blessings upon them and gave them the opportunity to express appreciation or ingratitude.—1 John 4:8.
How true this also was of God’s dealings with the nation of Israel! How generous, how trusting he was! Time and again he forgave them and gave them another opportunity to prove themselves. In particular did God show loving trustfulness in the case of Job. God was not quick to believe the Devil’s slanderous charges; he did not attribute ulterior motives to Job’s serving him as did Satan. Lovingly God believed Job to be a keeper of integrity, and the Devil was unable to prove Job otherwise.—Job 1:1, 8; 2:10.
Second only to the example set by God himself is that given by his Son, Jesus Christ. He showed his love for his heavenly Father by wholly trusting him, even to the extent of being willing to die; trusting his Father to resurrect him. Jesus also showed a loving trust in his dealings with his fellowman. He did not suspiciously demand that those coming to him go to great lengths to prove their belief in him before he cured them. Nor did he eye all his twelve apostles with suspicion just because he knew that one of them was destined to betray him.—John 6:64; 12:4-6; 17:12.
Love will likewise cause you to trust your heavenly Father, even as a child trusts its parent. It will cause you to take him at his Word and to show this by your course of action. Then you too will put faith in his Word, the Bible, even though you may not fully understand everything you read and even though so-called science, on the basis of incomplete knowledge or wrong reasoning, may call it into question.—Deut. 7:9; Mark 11:22; John 17:17.
As for trusting your neighbor, why, even the “golden rule” indicates that you should trust him, for do you not want him to trust you? Yes, “just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them.”—Luke 6:31.
In fact, to trust others shows not only love for them but also love for ourselves. How so? Because trusting is a form of generosity, and generosity makes for happiness. As Jesus said on one occasion, “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—Acts 20:35.
Especially do members of a family, such as husband and wife, need to show love by being trusting. Love takes faithfulness for granted and is not unduly jealous. It does not make mountains out of molehills. To be distrustful, to be unduly suspicious, is unloving, unkind; it discourages the other person and creates friction. All make slips from time to time, so be generous and give the other the benefit of the doubt, and extend mercy if the other actually is at fault.—Col. 3:12-14.
Remember, the course of being unduly suspicious is the course of Satan himself. He has staked everything on proving that man is not what he claims to be, that God’s servants serve him only for what they get out of it. He holds that no one can be trusted. Surely, he is not the one to imitate!—Job 1:9-11; Rev. 12:10.
A notable example in history of one who did imitate Satan in these respects was none other than the American humorist Mark Twain, deceased now some fifty years. In a volume of his works, Letters from the Earth, recently published for the first time, he uses Satan to heap scorn, contempt and slander upon God and the human race. This volume also contains his estimate of the Bible: “It is full of interest. It has some noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.” Unduly suspicious, he read into the Bible what is not there and failed to see in it what actually is.
He reacted in the same suspicious way toward his fellowman: “Everyone is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” No wonder this great humorist lost his humor and complained, “Be good and you will be lonesome like me.” But not so. Jesus was good, if any man ever was, yet, far from his being lonesome, he could not get away from the crowds, and not just because of his miracles but also because of his words of life.—Mark 6:30-34; Luke 21:37, 38.
Not having any faith in God, Mark Twain let the death of two of his daughters and his wife make him even more bitter and so he “relieved his feelings with scathing articles on public affairs,” according to The Encyclopedia Americana. He had sown suspicion and reaped loneliness, even as Jesus said: “Practice giving, and people will give to you,” and that in like measure.—Luke 6:38; Gal. 6:7.
However, the fact that love is trusting does not mean that you should be gullible, naive. Not at all, for God’s Word also says: “Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers his steps.”—Prov. 14:15.
Then how can you strike a balance between trust and caution? By loving your neighbor as yourself; not more, by being naïve and simple; and not less, by being unduly suspicious.—Mark 12:31.