Doing Life, Ministry

What is Faithfulness and Why Does it Matter?

Back when I was choosing my One Word for 2017, I felt certain that faithfulness was going to be a big theme this year. Just as I was about to commit to it, I thought I felt a nudge to change my word to Abandon, but even so, it’s themes of God’s faithfulness and faithful obedience that keep cropping up in my devotions and Bible studies, and in my life in general. Clearly, faithfulness is something I’m supposed to pay attention to and work on this year.

But what, exactly, is faithfulness, and what does it mean to be faithful? The dictionary defines faithfulness as “the quality of being faithful; fidelity.” Okay, but then what does that mean, exactly? There are actually several dictionary definitions of the word “faithful”:

1. obsolete :  full of faith
2. steadfast in affection or allegiance :  loyal – a faithful friend
3. firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty :  conscientious – a faithfulemployee
4. given with strong assurance :  binding – a faithful promise
5. true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original – a faithful copy

Synonyms include the words loyal, true, dependable, trustworthy, steadfast, staunch, constant and resolute.

It says that the first definition is obsolete, but I’m pretty sure there’s nothing obsolete about being full of faith when it comes to the kind of faithfulness God desires from us.

Apart from the dictionary definitions, here is what I know and understand about faithfulness:

It’s an attribute of God’s character. He is faithful, reliable, dependable, steadfast, unchanging, an unfailing keeper of His covenants and promises.

It’s a fruit of the Spirit. If the Holy Spirit dwells in me, then I am capable of exercising faithfulness and being faithful. Not just in my relationship with God and in my marriage and other earthly relationships, but in all areas of my life, every day, in every task I’m given.

Faithfulness is a quality that God desires from us. Biblical faithfulness means being obedient, following through and finishing what we start. It means faithfully and obediently carrying out our assignments, both the big, scary exciting ones and the mundane, boring, day-to-day ones.

Faithfulness is an act of faith. Our faithfulness requires believing and trusting in a faithful God.

I don’t know about you, sister friend, but I’m not always so good at exhibiting this particular spiritual fruit in my life. It seems to me that it’s easier to be faithful in the big things than in the little things. Things like being a faithful steward of my home or my money or my health. Faithful obedience tends to fly out the window when I’m too tired to clean or exercise or I’d rather splurge on some shiny thing I don’t need than save responsibly or I just really want that third (…or fourth or maybe even fifth) slice of pizza.

Thankfully, just like any fruit, this one can be cultivated, and how to do that is what I’m going to be looking at here in the coming weeks, with a more in-depth look at what the Bible says about faithfulness and some practical steps we can all take to grow this fruit.

What about you? Is this an area you need to work on, or have you got this whole faithfulness thing down (and if you do can you share some tips with the rest of us)? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Love,

 

 

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PS: Find more encouragement for your soul at these linkups:

Holley Gerth’s Coffee For Your Heart

Missional Women’s Faith Filled Fridays

#DreamTogether at God-Sized Dreams

PPS: Looking for some a-MAZ-ing tools and resources to help you be more productive, write better and/or generally do life while keeping your sanity? I’ve got the goods — sign up to receive Daydreamer Dispatches, a once- or twice-a-month newsletter from yours truly, and you’ll automatically receive a super-sekrit link to My Absolute Must-Have, Can’t Live Without Tools and Resources list! Click here to get your link!

JeanA Jesus girl through and through, Jean Marie Bauhaus is on a journey of healing and rediscovering who God purposefully created her to be and figuring out how to do life within that context. She’s the wife of Matt and mom to a crew of four-legged dependents, all of whom make their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jean counts coffee, dark chocolate and a yarn addiction among her vices. She’s the author of Restless Spirits, a family-friendly paranormal romance/mystery now available from Vinspire Publishing. You can learn more about her novels and short fiction at jeanmariebauhaus.com.

 

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10 thoughts on “What is Faithfulness and Why Does it Matter?”

  1. Belief, trust, faith…especially when life gets hard, I’m always learning and growing in these area. Thank you for this reminder of our faithful God!

    1. He is faithful, but it’s so easy to lose sight of that when things get hard. Glad you stopped by, Alecia!

  2. A great word to focus your heart on this year. Faithfulness requires maturity, doesn’t it? We can’t be petty or flighty while also being faithful. I’m learning that my faithfulness to God is the utmost priority in my life. When I walk with Him, the rest of my life falls into place.

    1. So true. And in my case, it also means I can’t be lazy and just do things when I feel like them (which is often never) and still be a faithful steward of my responsibilities. Sigh. It’s so hard.

      Glad you stopped by!

  3. Dear Jean … so good to have you drop by to visit yesterday, to meet you via Holley’s. I love that you’re writing about and living your WORD for the year. I’m admiring that you’re doing so since I stopped choosing a WORD a year or two ago when I realized I wasn’t doing anything more than writing a post or two about it.

    Lovely to connect with you …

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Linda! I admit, it’s easy to get distracted from my word, but whenever I forget about it for too long the Lord has a funny way of putting reminders in my path.

  4. So many songs and verses about faithfulness are flooding my brain right now! I guess this is a topic I’ve not really thought much about before. I’m glad for the challenge to consider this super-important area of my life, because I struggle in this area! House-cleaning reluctance and the consumption of a fourth or fifth piece of pizza are common here, too! Thank you, Jeanie, for the reminder…I’ll be pondering this!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Kelley! It’s good to see you here. 🙂 Yes, house-cleaning–probably my biggest struggle. The hardest thing has been coming to terms with the fact that “I don’t feel like it” and “I don’t like doing it” don’t get me out of my responsibility to be a faithful steward of my home. Sigh.

      1. Amen, sister. Thinking of the verses: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time…,” and “Do not grow weary in well-doing…” But also thinking of the verse that says something like “He who is faithful/responsible in little will be put in charge of much.” I know I just butchered that verse, and sorry for my woeful lack of references, but at least we know He sees, is pleased by and ultimately rewards our faithfulness, right? Have a good evening. Enjoy reading this blog!

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