Sowing Seeds of Faithfulness
Growing Your Spiritual Garden
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22
Faithfulness is the cornerstone of relationships. Without faithfulness we can not understand what it means to trust another person. Sadly, people are poor models of faithfulness. We just can not seem to hold up our end of the deal.
As Christians, however, we are blessed to serve a loving and faithful God. If we are to understand the meaning of Christian faithfulness, we should look to God the Father for direction.
One of the first places we read about God's faithfulness is in Exodus 34:6-7. These verses tell us, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin." In these words we read the characteristics of God's nature. More importantly, the words do not come from another person, they are words spoken about God by God.
The lesson that is to be learned from the Old Testament, is that God keeps His promises. He made a promise to Abraham that he would make him the father of nations and God kept His promise. Today, three of the world's religions--Judaism, Islam, and Christianity--can trace their roots to Abraham's journey of faith.
In the Old Testament, God promised to send a messiah to the world and this promise was fulfilled in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yes, God is faithful indeed. We can trust God for so many things. He is there to meet our every need and to help us in times of trouble. As Paul tells the church at Corinth, "And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
In faithfulness, we look for truth. Truth is God. To find this truth is to admit that we have sinned. In first John 1:9-10, we read "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word has no place in our lives." Part of the problem with human faithfulness, is that we do not like to admit that we are wrong. It is as if we feel to justify the need for every action--even if these actions are wrong. We can not forgiven by God, by others, or by ourselves until we confess.
It is for this reason, that we often say "confession is good for the soul." It is difficult to confess our wrongful doings to God and to others, but it is even more difficult to confess these actions to ourselves. The darkest hours that we can experience occur when we lose faith in ourselves. However, we do not have to live this way. God has promised that He is a God of love and that is one promise that will be kept for eternity.
When we sow seeds of faithfulness in our spiritual garden, we must remember how much God loves us. We must also be slow to anger and quick to forgive. This is what the Lord commands.