The Fruit of the Spirit
Faithfulness is often seen in a number of ways, depending on the circumstance. It has been defined as “steadfast in affection or allegiance,” essentially pointing to one being loyal. It has been defined as “firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty,” identifying one who is conscientious. It has also been defined as “something binding,” “true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original,” and “a loyal follower, member, or fan.” These latter definitions seem to be the ones we most often think of, especially in terms of our spiritual journey.
The word that we have translated for us as “faithfulness” with all its forms is the Greek word, pistis. It means persuasion, credence, or moral conviction of religious truth. It can be translated as assurance, belief, believe, faith, or fidelity. This word is used 244 times in the Bible, which speaks of God’s faithfulness and humanity’s call to demonstrate faithfulness in our own lives. Scripture has much to say about God’s faithfulness. Consider these verses: “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations...” (Deuteronomy 7:9). “For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness” (Psalm 33:4). “O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you” (Psalm 89:8)? These are just a few of the many passages that explain God’s faithfulness. We also see the faithfulness of Jesus as He was obedient to God’s will, faithfully following the path that God had laid.
As followers of Jesus, we ought to demonstrate a faithfulness in our lives that mirrors that of Jesus. We ought to submit our will to the will of God, being faithful to His calling. But faithfulness spans beyond obedience to God’s will. It includes also our loyalty toward our fellow Christians. It includes our being conscientious as recognize our responsibility to serve and love others. In Hebrews 11, we are reminded of the many men and women throughout the course of human history who demonstrated a great sense of faithfulness in their lives. These individuals recognized who God is, and they lived their lives accordingly. We ought to allow their faithfulness to encourage us along our journey, remembering that God is always faithful and will strengthen us as we strive to accomplish His will. It is up to us to allow faithfulness to be evident in our lives. Jesus makes a wonderful promise to those that are faithful when He said, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). The Fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness!