I can’t trust myself.
This is what I was taught.
Nothing good in me.
Therefore, nothing to trust.
Trust not of it.
Don’t lean on your own understanding
Which… is biblical.
I get that.
But then, who’s understanding do I lean on?
Where do I go for wisdom?
Answers to life’s biggest questions?
The ones who “know” the Bible.
The older men who have seminary degrees.
Look to the commentaries.
Make sure you have the right ones.
The ones we tell you to read.
The versions we learned when we went to school.
Stay in our lane.
Listen to us.
And anyone else we say you can listen to.
Don’t go outside of our circle.
Listen to this podcast.
Stay away from the other ones.
Talk to this person.
Not that one.
Go to this school.
Stay in our denomination.
Because, of course, we are right.
Even though it goes against your gut instinct.
Stick with us.
But, wait a minute.
How do I know you are right?
Because you are my pastor?
I need to trust you.
How does that work?
You get to be trusted…
But I cannot trust myself?
Because of your degree.
Because of your position.
Because of your intellect.
What about your dang heart?
Why do you get to be trusted?
Because you decided you would go to college to be a pastor?
So… you are now “anointed”?
Does this anointing make your heart trustworthy?
Does it give you some kind of wisdom that I cannot get?
Is your version of the Bible or some commentary the “right” one?
Is God more willing to give you the truth than me?
How does this work?
Lots of question marks in this post.
Because, I have all the questions.
Also because, I am tired.
Tired of being told I cannot trust myself.
Tired of being told I need to trust what someone else tells me.
How they see scripture.
How they interrupt it.
How they know which version is the “right” one.
With no accountability in what they are teaching.
I remember sitting with my husband, across from our pastor.
With tears running down my face.
I held out my bible and asked him what the heck I was supposed to do with it.
One of the leaders in our church was a “scholar”.
Therefore, he knew the Greek and Hebrew.
And this leader had told me that I could not trust my interpretation because I was just…
Well, just me.
A young mom, without a degree in theology, and without a brain.
Ok, no-one said that to me.
But it did feel that way.
Come on in, and leave your common sense at the door.
Don’t be bringing any of your “wisdom” in here.
We’ve got the corner market on anointing.
No need for you to think or anything.
You also might wanna leave your emotions at the door as well.
No time for that, I’m afraid.
None of it is trustworthy.
Bring your babysitting skills, cooking skills, and decorating skills.
We need that stuff.
But, honestly, we don’t need your thoughts.
So, where am I now?
How do I feel about it all?
It’s all poppycock.
God made us all with brains.
With hearts and souls.
He gave each one of us instinct.
And more importantly, the Holy Spirit.
I no longer live in fear that God is some big, old professor in the sky…
Just waiting for me to fail a test on theology.
I am no longer trying to find the right group of smart guys to hang with so I can get a good grade.
And I am so thankful.
Because, more and more?
Those old white guys I used to follow and trust in?
They are failing.
Not the theology test.
Probably that too.
But they are failing the “living like Jesus” test.
Seeing people for who they are.
All those kind of things.
The “fruits of the Spirit” kind of things.
More and more, it seems they are the bullies in the school cafeteria.
And I no longer will fight to sit with them.
I will stay on the outer edges.
Find a different crowd.
Not the popular ones.
No time for that, I’m afraid.
I have begged to really know God for years.
And I’m realizing now, the way to know our God?
Is to humbly be still.
And believe the love that has been put in my heart.
It’s a love put there by God.
I can trust it.
I can trust the part of me that longs to see goodness.
The part that longs to lift others up.
See the good in them.
And tell them the Truth about who God made them to be.
With a heart to love and be loved.
Let us lived loved.
And let us trust our instincts to love one another.
Thank you God, for making us with a heart to know you.
Karen R Shock resides in Fort Wayne, IN with her husband and their youngest son. She had three more children who are married and four beautiful grandchildren. Oh, and a dog name JT Barrett (Go Bucks). She is a retired homeschool mom and is now a high school teacher and cheer coach. Life is hard, but fun.