Fruit #7: Faithfulness
Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man? Proverbs 20:6
Dependability. Is it just me or is it becoming more and more a scarce commodity? Find a dependable employee, mechanic, doctor, lawyer, babysitter, plumber – you name it – you find a dependable one and you hold on to them best you can.
Our Fruit for the month of August is Faithfulness. This is the Greek word “pistis.” Typically in the New Testament pistis refers to one’s belief or faith in God, in His Son, in His Gospel by which one is saved through grace. Here, however, its usage refers to that virtue which makes a person one on whom others can rely. In short, it is dependability and trustworthiness.
I must admit, when I think of Godly attributes, dependability is not in the forefront of my mind. Being a person of great faith, yes of course. Sacrificial love, certainly. Joy, peace and patience of saint – check. But being a person others can depend on? Hmmmm.
I wonder if this perception I have is at least in part because we have such low expectations of dependability these days. We almost expect people to be late, technicians to not show (so often they can’t even hit that ominous “between noon and 4pm” window), checks to be “in the mail” and things to break down. Let’s face it, when Maytag dropped the Maytag repair man, we had to know that The Age of Dependability had come to an end.
There was a time when our word meant something much more than it does now. What we said mattered and we did all we could to fulfill our commitments. For my grandfather’s – and even father’s – generation, many a deal could be consummated by only giving your word and a handshake.
God calls us to be faithful. That is trustworthy, loyal, reliable, consistent, dependable, devoted. It is not perfection, but a consistency and dependability. Another meaning for the word pistis is fidelity – “a careful and exact observance of duty, or performance of obligations.” God is faithful and He seeks to develop that in the lives of his children. And in a world that seems to breed a more opportunistic rather than self-sacrificing culture, we can begin to see that growing in our faithfulness really is a more a work of God in our lives (His “fruit”) than we realize. It truly is more about God than it is about me.
FRUIT FOR THOUGHT:
In Ezekiel 22:30 we read that God was looking for someone, anyone, to stand in the gap between him and “the land” – i.e. His purpose for His people. Sadly He could find none – not one. God is always looking for faithful people to stand in the gap.
- What is God looking to do around me? Am I able to see Him at work?
- God is looking for faithful people to join Him in his activity? Does He see me as dependable and willing to stand in the gap for Him?
- Do others see me as dependable and trustworthy? What are some areas that I can ask God to mature me in so I can be more “trustworthy, loyal, reliable, consistent, dependable” to those around me?