Lenten Choices: Trust or Mistrust?

At a recent meeting with one of my spiritual mentors, he off-handedly said, “All of life is about trust.” I have been captivated by this statement and have prayed and written extensively in my journal about it. There is so much truth about these six golden words…all of life is about trust.

Consider it for yourself. Trust is adjacent to and expressive of love. We love God because he first loved us. We live for God in an attitude and posture of trust, because he first loved us. To trust God means to surrender our will into his loving hands. To speak of God’s love, we can’t help but to entrust our lives into his love and lordship. No matter what. To pray to the God of love, we listen attentively to his whispers of love, and we respond to those initiatives with a longing and desire to trust him with all matters great and small. Yes, trust is an essential element of our faith in the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

To trust another person is an outcome of love. As we grow in affection for others, we learn to trust them over time. And, in order for us to be loved and trusted, we too need to show by word, heart, and example that we are trustworthy. But, as we all can attest, at some point in our lives we experience a breach of trust in relationships. So, to dig our way out of such conflicts, we rebuild trust and we lean on love as guideposts along the redemptive journey. Love and trust go hand in glove for human relationships as well as in our faith in God.

To trust one’s self is another facet of love. In our walk of faith, we are connecting with the true God and we are called to embrace our true self as a gift from God. He invites us to receive our identity from our beloved status as a child of God, which comes mercifully from Christ, the One who himself knew true love sent from heaven when at his baptismal, the words from the Father in heaven were very simply, “This is my son, who I love, in whom I am well pleased.” Those same words belong to us as well, for you and I are God’s beloved children, in whom God delights. Recalling that true identity is what keeps us from receiving all the wrong messages of shame and guilt that our world seeks to enhance.

So, during this Lenten season, will you choose to build up trust, first with God, then within yourself, and also with others? Without love there is no trust. Would it also be true that without trust there is no love? If all of life is about trust, then what better time to focus on trust than in the season of Lent? In what ways have you been about the purpose of building up trust and in what ways have you been a part of hurting trust or mistrusting God, others or yourself? Repent of whatever sin you have committed that is marring trust, and renew your heart of trusting love for the days ahead.

Into your hands, O Lord, we place our whole selves, trusting that your vision for our lives and the life of the world is far richer than we could ever ask or imagine. Renew in us daily the choice to love and serve you without reservation. Amen. (From Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God, p. 124).

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.