Believing In and Trusting a Person-Part One
Is There Fruit?
In the last week I have had an experience in regards to this subject matter. I believe my experience and the use of scripture will help to give guidance to those who are struggling with trusting someone in their life.
I have a philosophy about life. If you want grace and mercy, give grace and mercy. If you do not want people judging you, do not judge others. To receive love and acceptance, give love and acceptance. If you want people to trust and not question your motives, be trustworthy and live with integrity. However, because I have this philosophy it does not mean that others live by this philosophy. It does not mean that I put on 'blinders' and trust every person I meet. But I do try to see people (especially those who call themselves Christian) in a positive light unless they prove otherwise. I try to Believe In, Trust the sincerity of people.
Because of my philosophy of giving people grace (It is biblical) and the sinful nature of man, there are going to be times I will trust a person who turns out to be untrustworthy. Because I am willing to believe in a person, I risk the chance that an individual may turn out to be deceptive and untrustworthy. So how do I know if I can trust a person? By using wisdom. By following the principles of Scripture. Ultimately by being a fruit inspector.
Over and over again I hear Christians and non-Christians say, "We are
not to judge". And many will quote verses in Scripture. I would agree that
in the strictest sense we are not to judge-determine if a person is guilty and
then issue a sentence of punishment. Only God can read the heart and fairly
determine the consequences of sin. However, we must make judgments (decisions)
in regards to trusting people. The Bible tells us how:
"Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."
"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves."
1 John 4:1
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world."
"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they?  "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  "So then, you will know them by their fruits.  "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.  "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'  "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'
"For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit; nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.  "For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush."
"Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance;"
In the next nugget I will share my experience. Some will say I was too trusting. Others may say I should have given more grace. What matters is what God says.
Copyright © 2001 Richard D. Dover. All rights reserved.
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations used are from the New American Standard Version (NASB).