In _____ We Trust
Who or what do we trust is an important question as we approach an election. It’s also important as we decide what to do with our time and money. The matter of trust weaves itself in and through most of the choices we make every day. I suspect some answers include relationships—someone we know well who cares deeply for us. Our country’s motto printed on coins and dollars is “In God we trust”. Maybe you thought of that too.
Our Bible story found in Luke 18:9-14 seems to be about prayer and not trust. Jesus tells the story of two men who go to the temple to pray. One prays loudly and confidently, listing all the good things he himself does. The other earnestly prays for forgiveness and God’s help. We often read this story of the Pharisee and the tax collector as a reminder to pray with humility instead of boastfulness.
But this parable is also about trust. Jesus spells it out before he tells the story: “Jesus also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt.” Luke 18:9.
Who or what do you trust? If I’m honest, I often trust myself–my hard work, my intellect, my talents, and my perspectives. But if I dig a little deeper, I see those things are really gifts from God—ability to work, education, interests. Everything is a gift from God and my own perspective is NOT the center of the universe. There are many things I need to learn and other things I’ll never understand. Jesus’ parable reminds me–the One who created the universe can be trusted to love and care for all creation and creatures including me.
Jesus’ story challenges us. The tax collector turned everything over to God—his concerns, his perspectives, his mistakes. The Bible says he went home justified, which means lined up with God. I wonder how that changed his life, relationships, and priorities. I wonder how our lives would change if I we too would respond, “In God I wholeheartedly trust.”