“Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is!” Proverbs 20:6 (GNT).
The writer of the Proverbs definitely found that a faithful person is hard to find!
Faithfulness is about all areas
If you hear the word “unfaithful”, your first thought is most likely that it means unfaithfulness in a marriage. Of course, faithfulness in marriage is extremely important, and when a person is not faithful in this area, it leads to a lot of misery. But faithfulness isn’t only about relationships. It’s about every area of our lives.
God is faithful in all things. In James 1:17 (NLT), He is described as “God our Father, who … never changes or casts a shifting shadow”. He is totally faithful to His Word, faithful to His promises, faithful to His own laws, and faithful to all people. He loves each person with an eternal and unchanging love.
Just think if every person on earth lived faithfully by their God-given conscience, that small voice in our hearts that tells us the difference between good and evil and how to choose rightly - how different the world would be! To follow our conscience is a fantastic beginning! But as Christians, God wants to lead us even further. He has promised us the Holy Spirit, the Helper who will lead us into all truth. (John 16:13.)
The apostle Paul says, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children.” Ephesians 5:1 (NIV). He is God our Father, who never changes, and we are His dear children! God’s highest hope for us is that we can become like Him, faithful in all our ways.
Our human nature is totally corrupt and unreliable. We often change our mind - or act differently than we wanted to! But the good news is that we can change! By the power of the Holy Spirit we can come to a faithful life in thought, word and deed!
It is good to ask myself what it means to be faithful in my daily circumstances. Being faithful can start with very small things like keeping a promise, paying a debt on time, or giving an honest answer to a painful question. It can mean being careful with what I say. Do I make things bigger than what they really are when telling a story? Do I talk about other people’s secrets, or can I keep a secret? (Proverbs 11:13.) What about my motives? Do I have some selfish motives when I do something good for others?
The Holy Spirit will show me all these things and many more. Just as love and kindness are fruits of the Spirit that can and should be seen in every area of my life, so is faithfulness. And just as love and kindness grow by the work of the Holy Spirit in my heart and life, faithfulness is something that grows and develops as God helps me to obey the Spirit.
When I keep doing what the Spirit shows me and tells me to do, my life begins to bear precious fruit such as love, joy, peace and faithfulness! (Galatians 5:22.)
Live to please God
One of the things that slow us down on the way to a faithful life, by God’s standards, is wanting to please people. It lies deep in human nature to want to please people and get their approval. But I can only be a true help to people if I Iive before God’s face, if I only want to please Him, no matter if people see me or what they may think about me. Faithfulness in the hidden will lead to a life of faithfulness – fruit that others can taste and see and be blessed by.
To go back to the verse we began with, a faithful man or woman does not talk about how loyal and faithful he or she is. How different from human nature that so easily brags about himself and doesn’t even try to hide a good deed! David said it so well in Psalm 16:2 (NCV), “I said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord. Every good thing I have comes from you.’” He really wanted to give God the honour for the good things He had done in and through him.
I have to be humble to come to a faithful life in all the secret corners of my thought life, with my words, and in all my deeds. But what a happy and blessed result this brings for those around me and especially for myself! When I am faithful to God in everything that He tells me to do, He promises that it will succeed! (1 Thessalonians 5:24-25.)
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness!" Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT).