The Fruit of the Spirit Is… Faithfulness

The Fruit of the Spirit Is… Faithfulness

In his biography, C.S. Lewis writes of a dear friend that he had during World War I. This friend was worried about what would happen to his wife and kids if he were to die in battle. In order to ease his friend’s mind, Lewis promised his friend that, if he were to die in battle, he would make sure that his family was taken care of. As the war dragged on, Lewis’ friend ended up being killed. Being faithful to his promise, Lewis did everything that he could to take care of his friend’s family. Yet no matter how helpful he tried to be, his friend’s wife was constantly rude, controlling, and ungrateful. Imagine how tempting it was for Lewis to give up on not only this family but also the promise that he had made years before; it would have been so easy for him to say, “I am not going to fulfill my promise because of how badly this woman has treated me.” But that is not what Lewis chose to do. Every time that he was insulted, he forgave her. He retaliated to how terribly she treated him with kindness because he had made a promise. Lewis was not going to allow her behavior to be an excuse for breaking his promise to his friend.

How good is your word? Even when other people treat you poorly and the scales are not tilted in your favor, can people trust what you say? Pertaining to the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, the seventh characteristic that the Holy Spirit empowers us to produce is faithfulness. Thayer defines this word in this context as “the character of one who can be relied on.” As Christians, we are to be people who have a reputation for truth, honesty, and reliability. Other people should be able to count on us to be true to our word.

As Jesus rebukes the self-righteousness and hypocrisy of the Pharisees and scribes, one of the problems that He had with them was that they neglected faithfulness, which is described as a weightier matter of the law (Matthew 23:23). In condemning hypocritical oath making, Jesus says, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No;’ anything more than this comes from evil” (Matthew 5:37; cf. James 5:12). Our lives should be so defined by honesty and faithfulness that a simple “yes” or “no” will do the trick. God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9, 10:13). He abounds in faithfulness (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:15). His faithfulness endures forever (Psalm 117:2). Let’s do all that we can to be imitators of Him (Ephesians 5:1). We can rely on God, His promises, and His word; therefore, others should be able to rely on us.

Bruno Mars has a song called “Count On Me.” The chorus is as follows: “You can count on me, like 1, 2, 3, and I’ll be there. And I know when I need it, I can count on you, like 4, 3, 2, and you’ll be there. Because that’s what friends are supposed to do.” We should be able to count on our friends; that is the way that it is supposed to be! How much more is that true for those who have dedicated their lives to following Jesus? Maybe, you have made some promises that need to be fulfilled. Make it your goal to reflect the faithful character of God in your life. Truly, “A faithful man will abound with blessings” (Proverbs 28:20).

-Tyler Alverson


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