Letting People Be People
“In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11).
THE MORE WE TRUST GOD’S PERFECTION, THE BETTER WE CAN DEAL WITH HUMAN IMPERFECTION. There is no other healthy way to survive life in a broken world. Nothing short of divine love can equip us to love others as we should, for it is our security in God’s perfect love that makes it safe to love those who are not perfect. Without the God who ordained them, the laws of love would be difficult and dangerous indeed.
When our ultimate trust is in God, we’re not as vulnerable to the disappointments that arise in our dealings with others. We can be authentically patient and forbearing. We still deeply hurt when others fail us, to be sure, and it’s not right to pretend otherwise. But in our pain, we are able to view this reality from a much larger perspective. When our earthly “treasures” are threatened, we don’t react as we would if these were our only treasures.
To the extent that we have confidence in God’s power to accomplish His purposes in His own way, we’ll not be driven by the urge to “control” what takes place around us and to keep certain things from happening. “As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit” (Emmanuel).
When we have entrusted the fulfillment of our deepest needs to God, we won’t look to other human beings to provide us with more than they can provide. Our expectations of others will be more realistic when we see God as the only Source of what we most deeply need. Secure in His love, we’ll not place on anyone else the impossible burden of loving us perfectly.
It should also be said, however, that trust in God’s perfection frees us to see our OWN limitations in a better way. Pride is, after all, a very tiresome, unproductive thing, and the humble recognition that we are not God is not confining; it is empowering. We’ll do a better job of being human beings when we quit trying to do God’s work and focus on the duties that are truly our own.
“Faith enables persons to be persons because it lets God be God” (Carter Lindberg).