Thursday, October 1, 2009

The ZigZag Café

We will be convening here at the ZigZag café, Suisse, on Thursdays for conversation and dialogue. I invite you to stop by every Thursday for the question of the day. Your thoughts and participation are most welcome. Pull up a stool, avec un café, un thé, ou un chocolat chaud, et un croissant, and join in here on Thursday at the ZZ café.

For today:

How can we deal with the legitimate fear of being duped or deceived, without falling into protecting ourselves through deception?


reneamac said...

I think living in the balance is important. In other words, realizing it's okay to be duped and taken advantage of on some levels, while also knowing that on other levels it most certainly is not okay.

This has to do with the relinquishing of our "rights," and ultimately our pride and our need to control. It also has to do with filtering those occasions where we've been duped through our worldview: We understand the falleness of what is, and at the same time, the potential that also is and could be transformed into what ought to be (like how when a force acts upon a body with potential energy that potential is turned instantly into kinetic energy!).

Connected to this idea of a governing biblical worldview is the reality that we come to trust people in their "potential energy" because we trust God. And because trust in God is primary, it not only enables us to risk trusting others, but also can, at times, soften the blow of having that trust broken/abused.

I've seen this happen over time in a woman who has been running a homeless ministry for years and years. She never ceases to encounter those who take advantage of the system she's set up. She says it still angers her at times that people feel the need to deceive and dupe her, but not like it used to. She's learned to see through the lens of grace the Big Picture.

Some of us are naturally more trusting: those who are may need to work toward the middle by being less trusting while also working to maintain innocence. Others are naturally more suspicious---whether because of personality or circumstance or both: we need to work toward being more trusting in a way that when our trust-experiment blows up in our faces we don't throw in the towel saying, Well I tried it and it didn't work.

Faith = risk. Always. Faith is never haphazard because the referent of our faith is never haphazard, never aimless. We walk in his direction regularly slowing down to tune into the Spirit who gives discernment.

Not that all that means we'll be perfect, or that one size fits all, but it's where we live: in the tension.

Greg said...

Thanks for this well thought out and interesting comment. It's a tough question. The fear of deception, as you rightly point out, can be way over done and we need to be balanced. Rights, and being willing to cede them, are a key to this. And living in tension in the midst of it all.

I see people all the time who are legitimately fearful of deception from others, although to avoid this, they deceive themselves. That is, they turn to putting the big "I" at the center of their lives and suppose this will protect them. But if the big "I" is an illusion, then this strategy will repeatedly fail. Turning to Christ and acknowledging his rightful place at the center of our lives will result in true and lasting protection, and therefore avoiding falling into deception.