Faithful- loyal, steadfast, firm adherence to whatever one owes allegiance. An unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by which a tie was contracted.
One of our favorite shows to watch on TV as a family is Survivor on CBS. Sixteen people are dropped off in the middle of nowhere and have to survive 40 days with little food, little shelter, competitions, and remain in the game without getting voted off by fellow teammates. We have been watching this show since its debut. The irony of the whole thing in my mind is faithfulness and trustworthiness. Alliances are made, bonds are made, and even friendships are made. Many times a person is voted off because they broke their word. Other times, people are voted off because they are such a big threat to win the game. One of the favorite things for the players to do is blindside a fellow player. So faithfulness plays a key role in the game and yet at times these players feel that a blindside, which in all honesty is stabbing a fellow player in the back, is the best policy. Faithfulness is key at the right times.
God does not see faithfulness as situational. God’s faithfulness is not situational. When I go back and review the words we have studied that adorn my kitchen wall, I am frequently reminded that all of these words: respect, thankful, love, humility, compassion, joy, patience, sacrifice, and serve are not possible without faithfulness. Respect only when we feel like it is not respect. Any of these qualities fit this equation. We must be faithful in displaying these qualities.
“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3,4). What does faithfulness do for us? We find favor with God and man. In Survivor, faithfulness is the quality that is endearing to the fellow players. In any person we meet as we become acquainted with them and see their life, faithfulness is one of those endearing qualities.
What is the opposite of faithfulness? Betrayal. We have all been betrayed at some point in our lives. This is one of those deep wounds that are hard to erase and hard to forgive. When we are betrayed, we question our value as a person. We wonder what is wrong with us that someone felt compelled to betray us. We struggle with understanding the answer to why this betrayal took place. Yet, in the midst of our questioning, we must remember that it was not us that betrayed it was another person. In Survivor, the betrayal that takes place comes down to winning the game and the one million dollar prize. In life, betrayal comes down to the sin of another person. Unfortunately, we blame ourselves for another’s sin, and often this drags us into a tail spin of our own sin.
What must we do? We are all sinners and betrayal will happen throughout our lifetime. These are the facts. I often remind myself that someday I will stand before God and give an account of what I have done (II Corinthians 5:10), not what others have done to me. In Luke 16, Jesus tells the parable of the servant who was dishonest. Jesus reminds us of our responsibility as he concludes this parable. “One who is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” (Luke 16:10). We will stand before God and give an account of our faithfulness, not any one else’s. Be loyal and steadfast. Keep your promises. God keeps His to us!