What does it mean to be truly faithful to God? I don’t mean the kind of “faithful” where you say you’re a Christian but live mostly like everyone else. I mean the real, true, honest-to-goodness faithful life where someone can watch you for a little while and see there is something different about you – something strangely peaceful yet strong, something they would like to have. What would that kind of faithfulness take?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, faithful means “steadfast in affection or allegiance; firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty”. That seems great, but honestly, it’s pretty dry. Listen to Wikipedia’s definition of faithfulness though.
“Faithfulness is the concept of unfailingly remaining loyal to someone or something, and putting that loyalty into consistent practice regardless of extenuating circumstances.”
Isn’t that beautiful? It’s okay, go back and read it again. I’ll be right here when you’re done. I absolutely love that last part: “putting that loyalty into practice regardless of extenuating circumstances”.
There is some great truth in this that can absolutely apply to living faithfully for God. 1) It is a practice. 2) It should be continued even when life isn’t going quite the way we hoped it would. If our loyalty (i.e. faithfulness) to God ends at those times, it’s not true faithfulness, is it?
So, what does the Bible say about faithfulness?
Don’t get me wrong, Wikipedia is great, but somehow, I think the Bible should be our real textbook here. ð
In my mind, the most fitting Scripture for this topic is I Corinthians 10:31. I’m sure many of you know it well.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Now, some of you reading this may be able to walk away right now with an “Aha, I’ve got it!” moment and do a relatively good job of living your life doing everything for God’s glory. If you’re like me, though, you need to unpack this a little more to see what Paul was really getting at here and how we can really do what he’s saying.
In this passage, Paul is addressing the church at Corinth. To keep it brief, he had been giving them instructions regarding how they should approach a problem they faced – eating food sacrificed to idols. He sums up his instructions, in part, with this verse. It’s as if he’s saying, “Here’s a simple guideline for this issue and others you will face. Whatever you do, do it to the glory of God.”
I don’t know about you, but this is something I can really use. Oftentimes in Christianity, we are faced with the “lists of dos and don’ts”. You know what I mean – the lists of “good Christians do this” and “good Christians would never do that.” Don’t get me wrong, there is some truth in these lists, but rather than live by the lists, why don’t we live to glorify God in all we do? So how can we do this?
One little method I’ve used is to let this verse be a kind of test. If you’re facing something and aren’t sure what to do with it, ask, “Does this glorify God?” If the answer is yes, great! By all means do it and do it well! If the answer is no, you know what to do – move on with your life without bothering with whatever it was you were asking about. What if the answer leaves uncertainty, and you’re not sure if what you’re asking about would glorify God or not? My advice would be to pray about it, seek truth from God’s Word, and if need be seek some good solid counsel. If you’re still uncertain, treat it as a no answer.
This can be applied in so many areas of our lives – the movies we watch, the music we listen to, how we talk with other people, or what and how much we eat. The list really could go on and on. I think the key, though, is the last part of the verse: “do all to the glory of God”. It’s not about “being a good Christian” or looking good to someone else. It’s not even about being a good wife, mom, or friend.
It’s about glorifying God.
Let’s not lose sight of that!
If this post has been beneficial to you, I hope you’ll check out next week’s post: True Faithfulness Requires Discipline. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it.
What do you do to help you walk faithfully? Comment below with your tips; I’d love to read them. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to subscribe to stay up to date with the latest posts and resources fromÂ A Faithful Family.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the English Standard Version of the Bible.