From “Growing in the character of a disciple”: Chapter 4 – The meaning and importance of faithfulness
Becoming a consistently faithful person, across every aspect of your life, is a major project. It will take a long time for your character to develop. However, it has to begin somewhere and the best place to begin is by wanting it. You need to set your heart to really seek for this character quality. It needs to be your own aim and your own desire, just as it is God’s aim for you.
2I will give heed to the way that is blameless.Psalm 101:2-4 (RSV)
Oh when wilt thou come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;
3I will not set before my eyes anything that is base.
I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cleave to me.
4Perverseness of heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.
You need to pray persistently and sincerely that God would build these qualities into your character. Ask Him to help you to put the Bible into practice in your own life, so that His statutes can be made part of you:
4You have ordained Your precepts,Psalm 119:4-5 (NASB)
That we should keep them diligently.
5Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!
And ask God to remove every kind of falseness from you:
29Remove the false way from me,Psalm 119:29 (NASB)
And graciously grant me Your law.
Go further and ask God to help you to become a ‘blameless’ person:
80May my heart be blameless in Your statutes,Psalm 119:80 (NASB)
So that I will not be ashamed.
Being ‘blameless’ doesn’t mean that we are sinless. Nobody is sinless. It means being sincere, genuine, truthful, godly and committed to obey God’s Word to the best of your ability. Some good examples in the Bible of extremely blameless men would be Job, Daniel, Noah and Nathanael. Seek to become like them. However, we do not have to rise to the heights that they reached in order to be classed as blameless. It is within the reach of ordinary people like us, if we really want it.
Faithfulness is what you do when nobody is watching
Another good definition of faithfulness is that it’s the way you do a job when nobody is watching. It is the way you go about painting the back of a shed when you know that nobody is ever going to see it or check it. If you were given that job, would you do it properly and diligently, with all the required coats of paints? Or, would you cut corners and lower your standards? Actually, there never is a time when nobody is watching. God sees everything you ever do.
He not only watches, He takes a keen interest. He is continually looking for evidence of you growing in Christlikeness. And He always wants to either reward or correct what you do. He is committed to improving you and seeing you grow to maturity. So, don’t ever imagine that God won’t notice. He’s interested in every part of your life and He wants you to become faithful in everything you do, including your job. There is no aspect of your life or character in which He is content to allow you to remain carnal, worldly or immature.
God is reliable but unpredictable; we are unreliable but predictable.
Being faithful, or reliable, is not the same as being predictable or dull. On the contrary, God is totally reliable and faithful but He can be very unpredictable. He frequently manages to surprise us by going about things in novel, creative, unusual, unexpected ways. By contrast, we tend to be unreliable and unfaithful, yet we are very predictable. We let people down or behave badly in the same old ways, time and time again. When a person lacks faithfulness and cannot be depended on, he becomes a hazard and a disappointment to those around him. Let that never be said of you:
19Like a bad tooth and an unsteady footProverbs 25:19 (NASB)
Is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.