Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

By Steve Akin

Faithfulness, noun, the quality of being faithful; fidelity; “faithfulness in marriage.”

“Faithfulness” comes up 68 times in God’s Word (62 OT & 6 NT). Over half (37) are found in Psalms.  That makes sense. We have a great deal for which to praise God given how faithful He proves Himself to be on a continuous basis. If you do a Biblical search of the term “faithfulness,” you will quickly notice that it is almost always paired with “kindness,” “justice” and/or “love”. Further, those words appear in either the same verse or at least in the same chapter.

This also makes sense. How does love express itself but through faithfulness? What could be more worthy of faithful acts than love? The just thing to do in life is to remain faithful at all costs when the basis of the relationship is love.

And there it is. It’s hard to be faithful to a thing. You can be faithful to a person or to a group of people, but you can’t be faithful to a thing. I’m not faithful to my marriage. I’m faithful to Jenny, my wife of 22 years, whom I love more than myself. Marriage is the label we put on the relationship. Our wedding rings and our marriage certificate are symbols of our commitment. But it’s hard to be faithful to a label, a ring, or a certificate. It’s easy for me to be faithful to Jenny, my love.

Now you may say there are things to which we can be faithful. For example, one can be faithful to a calling – which is a thing, for sure. But Who called you? To what did He call you? How did He call you?  You’re not really faithful to the calling as much as you’re faithful to the loving Father who called you.  Why would I wake up every morning to teach – my calling – if it weren’t for the love God gave me for every student? Why would I want to miss how He will miraculously and faithfully connect kids and content each day? I can’t miss that show!

Faithfulness exists only within relationships.

It’s not Samson’s hair, Esther’s beauty treatments, Moses’ staff, David’s sling, or the land of the people of Israel that prompted fidelity. Those things don’t have the power to do that. Only God’s love and faithfulness can engender people's faithfulness to His Word and calling. In each case, God provided those things to reveal who He is and that we can trust Him.

Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8 all record the story of the woman with a bleeding disease. Twelve years she had suffered, but she believed in the One who is Love and reached out in faithfulness to touch the Healer's cloak. Jesus felt the woman's faithfulness at the moment his healing power passed through Him to her. He didn't have to ask, “Who touched me?” because he knew what was in her heart. Even the Savior's clothes don’t deserve our faithfulness. Only He does.

Psalm 89:14  “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.”

May the Lord bless and keep you.