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The Duties of the Heart

Gate Four: "On Trusting G-d"

Chapter 5 - Part 2

Let's continue seeing where we stand on the "trust in G-d" continuum from the fifth instance.

People who truly trust G-d only busy themselves with day-to-day things that nourish their souls, and make sure not to get bogged down in things that draw them away from their search for spiritual excellence. But those who don't trust G-d, trust in their careers and in everyday things instead and depend on them. So they can't detach themselves from any of it and lose all perspective.

Sixth, those who trust G-d are loved by others, and "people feel safe around them", as Ibn Pakudah puts it. That's because those others sense that the people who trust G-d wouldn't hurt them and would never take advantage of them or compete with them, because they're satisfied with their lot. Those who don't trust G-d, on the other hand, always covet what others are and have, they always blame others if they themselves don't get what they want or if things go wrong. So they're often despised, spoken against, even cursed and hated.

And seventh, those who trust G-d don't grow despondent when they don't get what they want, they don't hoard things, and they don't concentrate all that much on the next day. For they trust that G-d will provide for them their whole live's long. Any anxieties they would have would be rooted in the fear that they had somehow failed to serve G-d well enough, or to have repaid Him for all the good. For they know how short life is and how little time we have to do just those sorts of things. Those who don't trust G-d, on the other hand, are often sad and anxious because they often don't have what they want. They also often spend a lot of time accumulating or dreaming about things in the mistaken idea that their life will never end. And they thus have no time to grow in their spirits. And if they were ever asked when they'd start catching sight of eternity, they would tend to say, "someday -- when I have enough ..." as they list this, that, and the other thing.

Take these insights to heart, catch sight of yourself in the depictions we've offered, and you couldn't help but know how much *you* trust G-d.

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