“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”- Jesus Christ
The background to this quote is an extract of Jesus teaching his disciples and multitudes gathered on the Pharisees. They were religious leaders of his day, who concerned themselves with religious duties, which were not wrong, but they were chided for neglecting other things which were heavier in his estimation.
Today, we look at the third attribute in faithfulness. There are three words I want you to picture when defining this: steadfastness, constancy and fidelity. When you sum up these three words, it is safe to say, a faithful person is a loyal person.
It is easier to say, we are faithful, but let us look at some hallmarks to ascertain that.
1. It shows in stewardship– a steward is one who manages another’s property. When something is not your own, how you handle it speaks volumes to your character. Faithfulness means if something is not mine, I treat it like mine and take care of it. Do we still borrow or lend out books? I remember, it was popular for a minute. Sometimes, one can borrow a brand new book from a friend, and when returned, it comes back torn, with food stains on the pages and virtually worn out. That is a faithfulness problem. It shows in little things. There are people who rent a car and return it in such a bad shape after only a week. Faithfulness demands responsible stewardship and proper accountability to the very minutest detail.
“And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what is your own?” Luke 16:12
To move into ownership, starts with faithfulness. If you don’t have that character trait, you will be a steward the rest of your life. Nothing wrong with starting as a steward, but it should be a stepping stone to ownership. How we treat people’s possessions should matter to us from today.
2. You keep at it– you don’t take the easy way out when confronted with an unforeseen issue. Most projects on paper look nice; you map out how you will move from points A to B. But the reality on the ground doesn’t always reflect what is drawn on paper. There are many unforeseen battles, moments of despair, real tough times in between points A and B. If you can’t endure the contradiction in between the points, that is a faithfulness issue. Faithfulness breeds endurance. Endurance is an attitude from a character trait. So if you don’t have character (faithfulness), you can’t produce that attitude (endurance). Many try hard to fix their ‘endurance level’, instead of checking on their ‘character’ which will produce that attitude or virtue.
“We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God’s throne!” Hebrews 12:2
Jesus is a good model of faithfulness. He was going to be nailed to a cross which will result in him being seated at God’s right side. I think watching Mel Gibson’s movie on The Passion will give us an idea on the torture and suffering, the pain and the shame he went through to go to the cross. Why did he have to endure such suffering? I remembered watching this movie (only once), it got so heavy on me that at a point, I had to leave and come back to watch it. I bought the DVD when it was released later, but it still has the wrapper on it (more than 15 years). Why didn’t he turn back? Was it because of the end result? Probably not, because sometimes the end result won’t encourage you enough when you are “going through it”. I believe it was more of his nature and character that drove him to endure that. He was faithful!
3. Relationships matter to them– they are loyal. They keep friendships. They put the interest of a relationship before their own needs. Maintaining a relationship is no child’s play. It will require you sacrificing your own selfish ambitions to make it work most of the time. How you treat relationships speaks to your character of faithfulness. I believe the highest level of relationship is a marital one. It will take faithfulness to stay married to one person until death. Providing is good but not enough, taking vacations together is good but not enough, going on dinner dates is also good but not enough. Activities spice up the union, but character is what will keep it going the long haul. There are many activities that will add flavor and zest to any kind of relationship, but it will boil down to character (faithfulness) which will stabilize the relationship for keeps.
As we have read these posts over the three weeks, may we be doers and not readers only. That is my prayer for you, fellow reader.
I wish you the very best of a blessed week. Please comment, like or share. Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t.
Till I come your way again…
Peace & Love