Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
(Galatians 5:19-24 ESV)
As God continue’s His work in us, one of the qualities, a fruit of the Spirit, that He will develop in us is faithfulness. As Christians, we should seek to be regarded for our faithfulness; a faithful follower of Christ, faithful friend, faithful spouse, faithful brother or sister, faithful leader, a faithful reader of the Bible, faithful in prayer. And much as it is impossible to fully love someone outside of faith in Christ, so too is it impossible to have the faithfulness spoken of in this passage by Paul without this same faith in the Lord. It goes without saying that our faithfulness to God requires our faith. And without this faithfulness to God first, we cannot fully show our faithfulness in relationships with others; because a necessary component of our faithfulness requires us to draw our friends, brothers and sisters, spouses, and others to Him.
The faithfulness that Paul writes about in this passage is one that exhibits honesty, trustworthiness, and dependability toward God and others in both our actions and attitudes. Our faithfulness in our relationship with God, with our friends, spouses, coworkers and strangers may do much to lead others to Christ – and by this faithfulness, others will be strengthened and encouraged in their own walks.
- strict or thorough in the performance of duty: a faithful worker.
- true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc.
- steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: a faithful friend.
- reliable, trusted, or believed.
- adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original; accurate: a faithful account; a faithful copy.
- the quality of being faithful
God, Our Model For Faithfulness
God’s faithfulness is perfect. He is our model as we pursue faithfulness in our own lives. He is faithful in doing what He says He will do; His faithfulness is shown through His love, mercy, justice, and punishment. He is faithful in fulfilling His promises to us. We are confident in the things He says because we know the He will follow through on them. The Lord is faithful and He calls on us to be faithful as well. Here are just a few verses that speak of God’s faithfulness:
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15)
For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. (Psalm 33:4)
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (Exodus 34:6)
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
What Faithfulness Looks Like In Us
As we spend more time in the Spirit and less indulging the flesh, our faithfulness will begin to be evident in several ways. Among them will be in our relationships, both with God and other people, in our honesty and trustworthiness, and in our discipline in pursuing all those things that strengthen our faith in God.
Our Relationship With God
One area which others may describe us as faithful is in our relationship with God. Is your faithfulness in pleasing God and in cultivating your relationship with Him evident to those around you?
- Time - Do you devote time to reading the Bible and to prayer? And do you make it a priority in relation to other, less important things? Are you known as someone who is eager to spend time in fellowship with your Christian brothers and sisters? How much time do you devote to doing the things that God loves?
- Focus - Do you first turn to prayer, God’s Word and what you know of Him to make decisions? Are you God-centered in your conversations with others? Is your behavior indicative of someone who has a strong relationship with God?
- Steadiness - Do you apply the promises and direction of God to your daily struggles? Are you constant in your attitude toward Him? Are you constant in worship of Him, in good times and bad?
Our Relationships With People
Do your friends consider you to be a faithful friend? Your spouse? Or would they scratch their head in bewilderment at even being asked this question by you. Think about some of the ways you can embody the fruit of faithfulness in your friendships, marriage, and your relationships with all brothers and sisters. Ask yourself these questions:
- Honesty – Do you say the hard thing to your friend? Do you tell the truth about not only the big things, but even the small things that come up? Do those around you look at you with skepticism when you tell a story or give an explanation?
- Dependability – When you make a commitment to a friend or your spouse, do you follow through on it? When a friend is in need and you are in a position to help, do you come through for that friend? Are you consistent in your reliability or are you reliable only when convenient?
- Loyalty – Do you keep the confidences of a friend or spouse? Do you defend your friend against unjust or unfair characterizations or accusations? Are you constant in the things you say about your friend or spouse? Do you seek to portray your friend or spouse in the best light at all times? Do you run when times are tough and only resurface when the friend has something to offer?
- Thoroughness – Are you focused on being as complete a friend or spouse as you can? Do you pay attention to the details and seek to give of yourself in all ways practical? Do you pick and choose those areas where you will be a friend or spouse based on your own likes and dislikes? Are you withholding any of your talents which could be used to benefit your friend, spouse, or a brother or sister?
- Care – Do your words and actions reflect a loving care for your friend or your spouse? Do you bring God’s truths into all of your relationships? Do you bring His compassion and mercy to all of your relationships? Do you exhibit care for your friends that encompass self-sacrifice and humility? Do your actions and attitude draw others to God?
These are just some of the areas where our faithfulness can be evident to others.
Can you think of other areas where our faithfulness can bring glory to God and encourage others to pursue Him? Please let me know by commenting below!
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.