Faithfulness

What is it and what does it look like?

Faithfulness is in all aspects of our lives, not only in serving God. We are to be faithful to our spouses, our children, our friends and family, our bosses.

Unfaithfulness comes when we are more interested in what is important to ourselves. Ouch!  Now that hurts a little doesn’t it? Being faithful to our spouse doesn’t only mean sexual faithfulness. It means sacrifice and commitment. It means “for better or for worse”.

We are faithful to what we are persuaded is really important. That can be good or it can be dangerous. Look around, you will quickly see what we are really committed to and it will show in our lives, despite the consequences, if it is for good or for bad. Would you agree with me then that it’s important to take a look at our motives and our actions regarding faithfulness?

Faithfulness to our spouse means love, loyalty, commitment, trust, and honesty. (Partial examples)
Faithfulness as a parent means living by example, giving love and discipline.
Faithfulness as a friend and member of a family means being loyal and trustworthy.
Faithfulness as an employee means honesty and commitment.

The following is from an article by J. Hampton Keathley, III

Moses was called to be faithful to God and to fulfill his commission. He was not called to “succeed” or to “fail.” And so the New Testament commendation of Moses focuses not on what Moses accomplished, but on his faithfulness. “Moses…faithfully discharged his duty in the household of God” (Heb. 3:2, ph). It was Moses’ faithfulness to his task which counted with God all along.127 (emphasis mine)

Faithfulness, then, is not a matter of success or failure from the standpoint of results. If there is faithfulness, failure does not bring blame nor should it lead to a sense of guilt! Where there is faithfulness to discharge one duties regardless of the results there is success in God’s sight. This points us to the true issue in our responsibility which is limited. We are to be faithful to the gifts, abilities, and opportunities God gives us and leave the results to Him.

Mark Hatfield tells of touring Calcutta with Mother Teresa and visiting the so-called “House of Dying,” where sick children are cared for in their last days, and the dispensary, where the poor line up by the hundreds to receive medical attention. Watching Mother Teresa minister to these people, feeding and nursing those left by others to die, Hatfield was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the suffering she and her co-workers face daily. “How can you bear the load without being crushed by it?” he asked. Mother Teresa replied, “My dear Senator, I am not called to be successful, I am called to be faithful.”128

Paul stresses this point in 1 Cor. 3:5-8. What is Apollos, really? Or what is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, and each of us in the ministry the Lord gave us. I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters counts for anything, but God who causes things to grow.

Faithfulness, then, is a quality that God wants to reproduce in us through the salvation that comes in Christ. It is another of the qualities of maturity to be sought in the life of the Christian. (End of excerpt by Hampton Keathley, III)

All of this gave me a lot to think about, for me, self-examination is essential.

Finally I will close with these thoughts from an article by John W. Ritenbaugh

Faithful implies steadfast adherence to a person or thing to which one is bound as by an oath or obligation; loyal implies undeviating allegiance to a person, cause, institution, etc. which one feels morally bound to support or defend; constant suggests freedom from fickleness in affections or loyalties; staunch implies such a strong allegiance to one’s principles or purposes as not to be turned aside by any cause; resolute stresses unwavering determination, often in adhering to one’s personal ends or aims.

Faithless means “not keeping faith; dishonest; disloyal; unreliable; undependable; unbelieving.” Its synonyms include doubting, treacherous and unscrupulous.

 Other synonyms include dedicated, steadfast, devoted, dependable, accurate, true, conscientious, dutiful, careful, scrupulous and thorough.

1 comment for “Faithfulness

  1. August 12, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I’ve heard it said to find out what is really important to a person, look at his / her checkbook and calendar.

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