Teri landed a dream job and relocated to another State. Within a month, she attended a church and decided to get to know the people in the congregation right away. When Teri received her first paycheck, she invited six people to her home for dinner at 6:00 p.m.
“Why are you doing all of that?” asked the lady next door.
“Well, these are my new church friends. I want everything to be special for them,” said Teri.
“Ah, don’t do it, they won’t show up,” said the neighbor.
“Oh no, they gave me their word.”
“Ha! People are people, whether they go to church or not; they won’t show.”
Teri ignored the woman and continued to prepare for her guests. When the clock chimed 6:00 p.m., she waited for her friends to arrive. Soon, the phone rang, and a guest stated she and her husband could not attend because “something unexpectedly came up.”
Another call came ten minutes later claiming illness. Teri cleared three dishes, still hopeful the other three would arrive soon.
Time passed, and she waited. Teri checked the roast and added more juice to the meat. A half hour passed, and no one arrived. At 7:30 p.m., Teri sat alone sipping the soup she had prepared for her guests. At 8:00 p.m., she put away the food and cleared the dishes.
Teri knocked on her neighbor’s door to return the table and chairs.
“I’ve been expecting you,” said the lady next door. Forgetting their previous conversation, Teri asked, “Why?”
“They didn’t show, did they?”
Teri shook her head.
“You know I used to go to that church, and I did the same thing you did tonight, with the same results. People don’t keep their word. I decided then and there that I would not let anyone make a fool of me again, and I never went back.”
Proverbs 3:3, says, “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.” (ESV)
Faithfulness embodies honor and loyalty. When we give people our word, we are establishing a relationship. We are saying we will pull through on our promises.
Furthermore, faithfulness is endless; it does not choose when and where to be reliable. In other words, because we elect to be faithful to our job, but not with personal commitments, it does not make us noble in some things, it makes us self-seeking.
In his sermon, “Tychicus: An Example for Us,” Don Green, pastor of Truth Community Church, in Cincinnati, OH, says, “Now, what does it mean to be faithful? It is to be trustworthy, to be reliable, or to be dependable. To be faithful is to be a man or a woman who inspires trust. A faithful disciple has constant speech, whereas the words that come out of his mouth can reliably be depended upon to be gracious and edifying for those who hear.”
Therefore, when we lack dependability, we do not regard others with respect. Our unfaithfulness weakens our connections and harms our character. Nevertheless, faithfulness builds a foundation of love, when combined with steadfast and trustworthy behavior.
Psalm 37:3, says, “Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” (NASB)
Excerpt taken from Nine! The Nine Virtues Known as the Fruit of the Spirit