In today’s world faithfulness is often tied to loyalty and trust. We see many examples of this in stories of a husband or wife who sticks it out through thick and thin, or an employee who does his or her job diligently over a lifetime. But I think these stories, while true, only skim the surface of what faithfulness truly is. It is more deeply tied to devotion. It is a profound sense of knowing and trusting in another. Faithfulness is rooted in a shared past that continually points to the truth. It builds upon itself as time and time again the relationship grows. When we walk faithfully with God on mission we see his promises repeatedly ring true.
At home the topic of faithfulness comes up quite often. My daughter likes to ask for promises because she has figured out that a “maybe” usually means “no”. My wife and I hold each other accountable to the promises made but once in a blue moon we are unable to keep a promise. This always saddens me but the hard truth is that I will fail my children at some point. I will fail my wife at some point. But it also opens the door to help us teach our daughter about the unfailing promises of God. We are able to look to his word and the instances in our lives where God has kept his promises and remind ourselves and teach our daughter of his goodness and faithfulness. It is also a chance to teach about our faithfulness to God. When we realize how God has blessed us in so many ways we need to focus on being faithful to what he has asked of us.
The faithfulness that Jesus showed to God the Father is unparalleled. Everything that the Father set out for him was accomplished in his lifetime. While modeled perfectly by Jesus, we can fall short because of any number of reasons. We are fearful of what might happen if we are faithful to God’s mission. We can be driven to distraction by pursuits that seem extremely important at the time but have no bearing on the future. We see an example of fear in the parable of the ten minas. A ruler leaves to accept a kingdom and leaves one mina with three different servants. Upon his return one servant has prospered and produced 10 minas from the one. Another has produced 5. But the third one did nothing with his. He simply hid it until his master returned. It works the same way with us. God has given us a purpose and mission. How often do we simply settle for doing the bare minimum with what we have when we have been so greatly blessed?
We see the culmination of Christ’s faithfulness to the Father’s purpose in his prayer to the Father in John 17.
“Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son
may glorify you, since you have given him authority over
all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that
you gave me to do. ” John 17: 1-4
This is the faithfulness that is derived from the Holy Spirit. Are we faithfully seeking to accomplish what God would have for us? Are we serving with a deep sense of God’s purpose for us? Are we seeking to reciprocate the faithfulness of God ?
We often attribute faithfulness to a statement. We have faith in God. We have faith in others. But we must always remember that our faith is also in God’s purpose and mission for us. We live out our faith through our actions. Christ was faithful to the work the Father gave him. We should joyfully strive for the same thing.