For many of us unfaithfulness has left a bad taste in our lives. It may be a backstabbing friend, a broken promise, betrayal, or broken marriage vows. We desire and demand faithfulness in others but often excuse ourselves when we fail to keep our word. In years gone bye a business deal could be sealed with a handshake…a person’s word was a contract. Today, we file mounds of paperwork in triplicate, have everything notarized and keep an attorney on retainer, and yet people find ways to break their agreements. We struggle to name couples that have been married for over 30 years, a person who has been a friend since childhood, or someone who has stayed with the same company for their entire career. Faithfulness is a rare fruit in our society. It takes integrity, patience, kindness, love, courage, commitment and discipline to follow through and keep your word. It’s hard to stick with a project after the shine wears off and to hold on through a relational quitting point, even when everything in you is screaming “enough.” We can’t be faithful without the power of the Holy Spirit. He wants to transform us into faithful people if we allow it!
Pr 3:5-6, 12:22, 20:6; Lam 3:22-23; Lk 16:11; Jn 15:8; Gal 5:22-23; Eph 5:15-17; Col 3:23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… (Gal 5:22-23) Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
(Pr 12:22) Many people profess their loyalty, but a faithful person—who can find? (Pr 20:6) And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?
By cooperating with the Holy Spirit we can make a move toward becoming the faithful people God calls us to be. God wants us to be good stewards with all that we have. A steward takes care of what he has been given. We can start by working on being faithful with the time God has given us. Using our time for God’s kingdom should be a priority. Clicking off an hour on Sunday as “God time” is a pathetic return on God’s investment in us. We must learn to say “no” to things that are not on God’s agenda and give of our time in service to those things that yield in eternal benefits such as: leading and teaching others about Christ, serving the poor, helping someone in need, listening to someone who is lonely and needs a friend. We also need to be good stewards with our talents and abilities. Each of us has been given gifts which God intends us to use for advancing his work and blessing the lives of others. Expending all our efforts in places that aren’t making an eternal difference is a sad waste of gifts. God has also given us material blessings and asks that we use them wisely. When contributing to God’s work is an afterthought or not a thought, what does that say about priorities? Understanding that all of our money and all of our possessions come from God and belong to God is the beginning of faithfulness. Understanding that they are intended for our provision and our enjoyment, but that they are also tools for the benefit of God’s work is essential. Being a faithful person applies to every area of life. You possess a very desirable fruit when people see the faithfulness God produces in your life.
Are you a person of your word? Are you careful about the promises you make? How have you been let down by someone who didn’t keep their word? Explain. How do you see unfaithfulness playing out in society? What useless activity is taking too much of your time? How can you reallocate some of that time to God? What abilities has God given you? How are you using your gifts in the world? How are you using them to serve Christ and his church? How hard is it to grasp the fact that everything you have belongs to God? What does being a good steward with material wealth mean?
Start in one area—time, talent, treasure. Make a move toward faithfulness. Do more than you are now doing, whether that is a move from nothing to something or increasing what you now do. Increase in each area until you know you are being a good steward. Keep your word. Be faithful to your responsibilities and obligations.
Gracious Father, you are the source of all things. Help me to be a faithful caretaker of your wealth. May I be a person of my word and live with integrity and truth. May the time, talents and treasures you have given me be used to honor you and to reach those who don’t know Christ as Saviour. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.