“I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is” (Galatians 5:10).
Here in Galatians 5:10, Paul the Apostle expressed his confidence that the Galatians would make wise choices regarding the false teachings that had spread among their churches. However, we should note that Paul’s confidence was not rooted in the Galatians’ ability to make good decisions. Instead, his confidence was placed in the Lord’s ability to move upon them to do what was right.
Paul’s example reminds us that a Christ-centered focus should undergird our trust and confidence in others. The well-known author C.S. Lewis once addressed this subject in discussing the challenges we sometimes encounter whenever we seek to depend upon others. In his book Mere Christianity, Lewis spoke about the reality of Christ’s presence in our relationships with fallible human beings…
“We must go on to recognise the real Giver. It is madness not to. If we do not, we shall be relying on human beings. And that is going to let us down. The best of them will make mistakes; all of them will die. We must be thankful to all the people who have helped us, we must honour them and love them. But never, never pin your whole faith on any human being: not if he is the best and wisest in the whole world. There are lots of nice things you can do with sand: but do not try building a house on it.” (1)
Charles Spurgeon, the famous 19th century preacher, made a similar observation as he emphasized the need to maintain a God-honoring attitude in our interpersonal relationships…
“You must have fervent charity towards the saints, but you will find very much about the best of them which will try your patience; for, like yourself, they are imperfect, and they will not always turn their best side towards you, but sometimes sadly exhibit their infirmities. Be prepared, therefore, to contend with ‘all things’ in them.” (2)
This does not mean it is wrong to emotionally invest in others. However, it is important to remember that people and situations may change but God does not. Because of this, we should place our dependence in Christ first and then in others. Its important to prayerfully seek the Lord to provide wisdom and discernment in our relationships so we may say along with the Apostle Paul, “I have confidence in you through the Lord…” (KJV).
(1) C S Lewis, Mere Christianity New York : MacMillan Pub. Co., 1952.
(2) Charles. H. Spurgeon, Love’s Labours (1881) https://www.ccel.org/ccel/spurgeon/sermons27.iv_1.html