Faith is not naive
I think that especially at the beginning of a Christian life, naive thinking is common. For they are usually associated with faith, thinking that we assume the best in each case.
At first glance, this perception does not seem problematic, in fact, more commendable. But on closer inspection, we can see that one can be so naive as to have nothing to do with God, and one can be such a keeper of the Word of God that he/she is not at all naive.
There is a well-known sentence of Paul that we can misunderstand and strengthen the position of the naive people:
„Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Paul is talking about love, and it may seem that indeed we must take upon ourselves a personality who believes in people, hopes and endures all things. But this is not about our relationship with our fellow human beings, but about manifestations of love.
Although he instructs us to love our fellow human beings in half of the Ten Commandments, it would be a quick and superficial conclusion to think that we should cultivate the same relationship with God and people.
God alone is one in whom we can trust 100%, whose word we can believe in reality, whose promises we can hope for! People are different, if we are not talking about a neighbor, but a friend, or even a brother or relatives, God does not ask us for full trust, hope or faith in their direction.
„It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”
Nonetheless, we have responsibilities that God has given into law to do. These are what we can give to our fellow human beings, that is, a real act that can manifest itself in any kind of assistance.
So what I mean by this is that faith and hope for our fellow human beings is about get something (i.e., believing in man’s word, promises, and hoping that it will come true), while God’s law is about giving.
We have to differentiate, that is, we have to dedicate our faith and hope to man and to God. We cannot treat a brother as much as we do to God. For if we believe in a brother as we believe in God, we raise the brother to the level of God.
I’m not saying you can’t believe or hope from a brother, just to count on the possibility that it won’t happen. And this does not indicate a lack of faith or a decrease in the level of our love, but shows our sobriety. Many have already denied following God because they have placed their trust in people. When they were disappointed in people, they were also disappointed in God and stopped following God. They looked at the visible, the brothers were identified with God, it is no coincidence that they were disappointed!
Let's look at some stories about Jesus:
„But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”
Indeed, we can see in the Gospels that they had a shaky opinion of Jesus. Let's look at the testimony of John the Baptist:
„The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
John also received a sign to be absolutely sure:
„I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'”
Yet John sent ambassadors to Jesus with the following question:
„And when the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, 'Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'"”
Or there’s the story when Jesus marched into Jerusalem on Easter Day, the crowd cheered, they testified of Jesus, and a few days later He had no one, and the crowd that once cheered, shouted: "Crucify him!"
Although there may have been those who seriously considered following Jesus even after that, but because they were only human beings, they refused Jesus because of outside influences. Peter's testimony:
„Peter said to him, "Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.”
Then Peter's fall:
„Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.”
If Peter was able to deny Jesus as a result of the circumstances, then why would we think we can believe and hope in man as God? It’s not about the brothers being evil, it’s about the circumstances that can greatly influence them, and their once-given word, attitude, may not be the same later.
„Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.”
Those who are naive will harm their own faith, they will learn through disappointments that it is God alone in whom they can fully trust. Let us not be naive, but be sober.
Author: Antal Farkas