We all know someone like this. No matter what they do or who they deal with they get the short end of it – or “screwed” to use a more popular phrase. I’m always amazed with certain people as it seems to be infallible for them. The mechanic, their boss, their coworkers, the doctor, the bank teller, the plumber, the contractor…you name it. They always seem to get screwed over despite the pains they take to protect themselves. Not trusting anyone, they go out of their way to prevent any possibility of being taken advantage of, and yet Boom! It blows up on them. Screwed again! It does make you wonder.
Of course, we can write it off to bad luck, but in my observation, I think there’s something else going on. Perhaps they did have a bad experience or two. Or they come from parents who experienced injustices. So they’ve learned fear – to not trust and to be careful. It makes sense or certainly seems to. But they constantly get the opposite result. They’re careful, they’re guarded, they’re secretive, and they’re screwed! Over, and over, and over.
So what’s up with that? I think a biblical principle is in play here: “Seek and you will find.” Naturally, we relate that saying to faith…if we seek faith, or seek God, we will find Him. It’s true. He does, after all, want to be found. But the principle holds true on the other side as well…if we’re constantly not trusting anyone and looking for ways that they may take advantage of us, we seem to find that too. We tend to get what we expect. Expect your children to be sneaky and cheat and chances are they will. Expect better of them and most often they rise to the expectation. Positive attitudes attract positive results and negative attitudes attract negative ones.
At the heart of this problem is that when we decide out of fear not to trust anyone, we short circuit our instincts, or intuitions, if you will. If you simply believe that no one can be trusted, you don’t open your heart to those who can be. The Holy Spirit should be our guide in all things and the Holy Spirit speaks to our heart, in our feelings, not our head. Our head, or our intellect, is there to guide our feelings. The two should match up in most cases. Our feelings may tell us to trust someone, but if there are clear indications that we shouldn’t, then our reason needs to hold our feelings in check. (Every feeling is not from the Holy Spirit, after all, and feelings can be fickle at times.) By the same token, our feelings may tell us not to trust someone, but reason may tell us the reasons that we should. In such a case, unless our feelings are inordinately influenced by fear, we should listen to our feelings. It may be an inspiration or warning that things are not as they appear. Children and animals are often very intuitive in this regard. If they take a dislike to someone it’s often a good indicator to be on guard.
The point is this: fear can be a powerful force that can short circuit good things in your life. When we don’t trust anyone, we tend to not make the right friends and fall prey to the wrong ones. The right ones won’t manipulate us, after all, and the wrong ones will. Hence, it’s easier for them to take advantage of us. Learning how to manage fear, and healing the wounds from the past through which our fears rooted in pays big dividends for future happiness. If you struggle with fear, talking to a counselor who can help you put fear in its rightful place is a good idea well worth considering.
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