Self-trust is misplaced trust

Posted on August 31, 2013 · Posted in Wisdom, Worldview, Worry

Proverbs 3:7-8 indicate that our bodies don’t do well when we trust ourselves, that is,  when we rely on our own understanding. Trusting God and purposely loving him in all that we do brings health to our soul and stability to our walk. Trusting our own understanding  leads to a troubled spirit and to a lack of stability. This is not a magic formula. Loving God in every area of your life means an intentional awareness of loving him. Recall God’s instruction in Deuteronomy 6:5-6. A deep love for God is followed by God’s commands being woven into the heart. 

Merely reciting God’s word will not keep you from being wise in your own eyes. The book of Judges is full of apostasy, because everyone was wise in his own eyes. But as you read Judges you will quickly realize that God was often talked about is if he were some sort of magic charm to protect personal interests. No, Proverbs is talking about much more than just saying God’s name when things get challenging.

Trusting God, fearing him and turning from evil brings peace to our minds and health to our bodies. Stress can indicate fear of man instead of fear of God. Let me add one qualifier here. Challenging situations can be stressful, but while there is stress in the situation, stress does not have dominate our minds.

God calls us to trust his wisdom and not our own.  Stress leads to confusion. Trust in God and his ways leads to peace. Like oil and water, trust and stress do not mix. When you attribute short, curt answers and a contentious spirit to stress, you are demonstrating that the stressful situation has overcome you. There is much in life that can be overwhelming. But God remains in control of his world. We don’t have to be driven by worry. With all that Job experienced, he was not dominated by worry and stress. 

Model this for your children. If you see stress and uncertainty in their lives consider whether or not your lack of trust in God may be a contributing factor. The promise of Proverbs three is a rich one. Show its beauty to your children and to those God brings into your life.

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.