January 31

Changing Your Default Setting, Part 2

John 2:23-24 Now, when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feasts, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.

What are your default settings? Pray over the following examples. You may have some that you know about. More than likely, you have some that you’re not aware of; to you, they’re “just the way you are.” But the ungodly default settings are actually not us, but are getting in the way of us being who we are supposed to be.

Even if a specific example doesn’t pertain to you, it likely describes someone you know and love and can pray for. Or it might be a temptation that comes your way every so often—something you need to resist. For the next few days, we’ll take a look at a few old settings that the Word and His Spirit can address.

Old Default Setting:

“People always disappoint.”

Cynicism has often been described as “the wisdom of this age.” This cynical statement—a terrible exaggeration at best—is often used as an emotional survival strategy for those who have been hurt. Holding onto it can be used as shield for hurt, but it doubles as a barrier for healing.

Jesus was the ultimate realist, without being cynical. John 2:24 says that “Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” He loved without measure, spoke boldly, and ultimately, let people kill Him. Yet He didn’t live in disappointment with the responses of those around Him.

Here is what He understood: James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” He knew that God was good, all the time, and that nothing anyone might do could change that.

He also knew what Romans 23:2-4 says, “For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.”

People are generally meant to be trusted, and our individual challenge is not to focus on the lack of trustworthiness in others, but to become as trustworthy as we can be. People fail, and will continue to do so occasionally. As fallen creatures, we all run that risk on a regular basis. Happily, God never does.

New Setting:

  • People are not God.
  • People will sometimes fail.
  • God is always faithful to us.
  • God is love (1 John 4) and love never fails (1 Corinthians 13).

Prayer: Lord, help me to become the Realist that You are. Help me to be wise in my dealings with people, but open-hearted and trusting above all in Your goodness. Help me to not be distracted from You by the failings of others.