PRESENTED AT CURWENSVILLE ALLIANCE ON 5/15/2016 BY PASTOR STEVE SHIELDS
You’ve heard people say it, right? “I have trust issues.“ Sure you have. And if you’re like me, you sympathize, but a part of you wants to reply, “And… you think that makes you different than…who?” Struggling to trust is not unique to the few.
Almost everyone I know has trust issues. We’d like to think it’s because of the day in which we live. How can we not struggle to trust when we see so much evil around us. But it’s no more unique to our era than the concept is unique to you or me.
It’s said that the most often repeated command in Scripture is Fear not. Do you ever wonder why? Sure, there are the everyday reasons. Fear leads us backwards. Fear doesn’t accomplish anything extraordinary. Fear stifles. But perhaps there is a more basic reason. Maybe fear is the opposite of trust. Maybe the commonness of the command, Fear not, serves to remind us of the commonness of trust issues.
Part of Jesus’ mission was to show us the glory of God — filled with grace and truth. And in His statement, I am the good shepherd, Jesus gives us good reason to trust God. He helps us with our trust issues.
This podcast addresses this in ways I hope you find helpful.
It might be in my blood. It might not be. My dad was a likable guy. People in church, in the neighborhood, and in our family loved him. When my dad’s genes are showing up, I am pretty likable, if I do say so myself.
And then there’s dad’s cousin, Wayne. Since you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, I won’t talk about Wayne. But if I did talk about him, I’d say he was a crusty old grouch who didn’t like anyone. Whoops — well, when I do things like that (speaking ill of the dead), I guess it’s Wayne’s genes that are showing up.
What about you? Are you a lover of humankind or a misanthrope?
Although Wayne lived into his late 80?s, he’s the exception to the rule. Generally people who don’t love others lead shorter, lonelier lives. Their lack of spiritual and emotional health leads to a lack of physical health. Who knows what damage it does for eternity.
In this podcast, we examine how the Christians in Corinth were behaving toward one another — without love or respect — and we work to learn how we can do the opposite.
The sermon notes are available upon request. Email me at the address below.
You can listen to the podcast at the bottom of this post.
I have observed one thing among true Christians in their differences in many countries: What divides and severs true Christian groups and Christians — what leaves a bitterness that can last for 20, 30 or 40 years (or for 50 or 60 years in a son’s memory) — is not the issue of doctrine or belief which caused the differences in the first place. Invariably it is lack of love — and the bitter things that are said by true Christians in the midst of differences. These stick in the mind like glue. And after time passes and the differences between the Christians or the groups appear less than they did, there are still those bitter, bitter things we said in the midst of what we thought was a good and sufficient objective discussion. It is these things — these unloving attitudes and words — that cause the stench that the world can smell in the church of Jesus Christ among those who are really true Christians. ~Francis Shaeffer in The Mark of the Christian.