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trust in a person vs trust in God

One of the interesting things that comes out of marketing Christianity as a “personal relationship with God” is people take that paradigm to mean one can trust God the way one trusts a person.  When one trusts a person it is an implicit expectation that they’ll deliver on something.  For example if you trust a pizza delivery company, you expect the pizza there within a reasonable amount of time.  If the pizza doesn’t come you will get mad at the pizza company and maybe leave a bad Yelp review.  But this anger shows that you respect the company in a way.  If the roles were reversed and you didn’t deliver on something you’d respect and accept the resulting bad reviews and understand that was a necessary evil to keep society running smoothly.

Trust in God is open ended (but people selling you religion fail to mention this).  God cares about you on his own terms.  His actions are not subject to evaluation by empirical evidence, only scripture and church teaching.  That means if God comes through that’s great, if he doesn’t there’s something wrong with the way you are seeing things.  This is almost the exact opposite of how trust between humans works.  You are expected to expect nothing.  Respect is shown by submission instead of empathy.

Of course Christians try their best to market the faith as allowing one to trust God as one trusts a person.  Of course they don’t tell you that sometimes part of trusting a person involves them betraying your trust (for example when you tell someone you have planned and are about to commit suicide).