Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
If there is one thing that inspires our trust in God it is that He is reliable/faithful always; He can be depended upon, relied upon, and is worthy of our trust. He, too, is looking for people He can put His “full faith” in to trust with His blessing. Our salvation is the total work of God for us in Christ and because we cannot add to His work, only respond, our faithfulness (reliability) is the only thing we can give back to God. God’s nature is to be reliable always, and we are also partakers of that same divine nature.
What is faithfulness? Simply put in a single word, reliability. It means To be reliable; constant; dependable; trustworthy. It implies endurance, steadiness, and stickability, that some have called the “grace of grit.” It infers “long obedience in the same direction, no side-stepping, no escaping to any easy path, or fleeing.
Faithfulness can be seen very often when an opportunity to be unfaithful comes or when tested. We have an opportunity to do something else yet we choose to do what we’ve committed to do and are being depended upon to do. We keep our word and responsibilities whether it feels good or not. Jesus said faithfulness is seen when we pass the tests in the little areas of life, in the use of money, and in how we treat that which is another man’s (Luke 16:10-12).
When it is all over, in the end, it is all going to be about faithfulness Matthew 25:14-30. “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Only the reliable will hear well done.
I understand we are under grace and we cannot impose standards beyond the Word of God. I also understand we should be kind, gracious, and merciful to human weakness and failure but yet we expect certain standards of faithfulness in other areas of life. We also judge people for failing to meet those expected standards of what we would consider faithful in other areas of life. Think about how easily we excuse ourselves and let ourselves off the hook so to speak when it comes to standards of faithfulness to Church commitments and Kingdom activities.
I found it challenging what a Pastor said who was once asked to define faithfulness. This was his reply, “All I ask is that we apply the same standards of faithfulness to our serving God and work for the Lord that we would in other areas of our life. For example:
If your car started two out of three times would you consider it faithful?
If the paperboy skipped Mondays and Thursdays would those papers be missed? Would we think he is faithful?
If your refrigerator quit a day now and then, would you excuse it and say, “Oh it works most of the time?
If you did not show up at work two or three times a month would your boss call you faithful?
If your water heater greets you with cold water one or two mornings a week while you were in the shower, would it be faithful?
If you miss a couple of mortgage payments in a years’ time, would your mortgage holder say, “Oh well, 10 out of 12 is not bad?”
I’m not suggesting we judge others but judge ourselves and maybe raise the bar of our excuses a little. I think the target, goal, example we should shoot for is God’s faithfulness. Let God be the standard of what we define as faithful. “Be ye therefore followers (imitators) of God as dear children Ephesians 5:1.”