In our lives we have choices about what or whom we want to trust. Many of us place our trust in Jesus and God. In addition, we place some of our trust in other things, such as money, other people, ourselves, civic leaders, laws that protect us, or maybe even traditions that help us feel like we’re staying on the right track. What does this look like, this sharing of our trust between Jesus and these other things?
Picture an old fashioned balance scale, with the two bowls hanging from either end of the cross arm. Let’s say you have a pocket filled with 100 pearls, with each pearl representing a bit of your trust. All of the pearls together make up all of the trust that is within you. Your task is to place the pearls into either or both of the bowls on the scale.
One of the bowls represents things you are used to placing your trust in, like money, other people, ourselves, traditions, etc. Let’s call this bowl “world”. These things of the world sometimes help you make it through your life. You count on certain people to help and protect you; you trust in the civil laws to protect you; you count on doctors to heal you; you count on yourself to use your cleverness, knowledge and wisdom to solve your life’s problems; you count on your paycheck to provide you with the things you need; you count on your traditions to help give you a sense of wellbeing. So depending on the amount of trust you give to each of these worldly things, you place the appropriate amount of pearls into the “world” bowl.
The other bowl represents Jesus and the things of God. Let’s see, you trust Jesus with your eternal salvation; that’s a biggie, so maybe you put several pearls in His bowl. You trust Jesus to answer your prayers, so a few more pearls in His bowl. Continue placing the pearls in the two bowls until you have emptied your pocket.
Yet, as you go through life, you may move your trust from one bowl to the other. Let’s say you just got a raise at your job. Congratulations! With this increase of money coming in, maybe you decide to get a better car instead of that clunker you’ve been driving, or maybe you just feel you can now take on more debt since your raise will allow you to make higher monthly payments on your credit card. Basically you decide to put more trust in your money. But where will this trust come from? You’ve already emptied your pocket of your trust pearls.
Whenever you decide to place more trust in the “world”, you end up taking trust away from Jesus; that’s the only place where you can get more pearls. And the scale leans a bit more to the left, to the world. And your focus is drawn more to the world as well, since that is where more of your trust resides. What does your scale look like? Are there more pearls on the left or the right?
Now the all-important question; what does Jesus think about all this? Does He want only a portion of your trust? Maybe He would quote from Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5)
Please consider this; would you regard trust as an expression of love? And what kind of love does Jesus want from us? Does He just want a portion of our love? “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'” (Matthew 22:37) Jesus wants All your trust, All your love.
Yet do you believe that you can rightly share your trust and love between Jesus and the world? What might Jesus say about that idea? “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)
Please give some thought to how your trust is divided, and, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” John 14:1