What does it mean to be faithful? Marriage is the first relationship that comes to mind. Being faithful requires avoiding temptation, being loyal to your spouse, and spending time together to maintain an intimate relationship. Many marriages suffer or are destroyed because someone is unfaithful.
Now think about your childhood friendships or those of your children. Being a faithful friend often requires playing exclusively with your best friend and spending as much time as possible together. As a teacher, I often see little girls who won’t speak to their best friend because she played with someone else. Little girl relationships can be brutal!
Our spouse and friends desire a faithful relationship with us, and our God expects us to be faithful with Him. Exodus 20:3-5 says, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”
Our relationship with God requires similar principles applied to marriage and friendships:
- Be loyal – Avoid putting your human relationships, material objects, or status before Him.
- Avoid temptation – Falling to temptation pulls us away from God just as it pulls us away from a spouse or friend. Always be on guard because there will be many temptations.
- Maintain an intimate relationship – Spend private time talking and listening to Him by praying and reading Bible. Go to church because it provides opportunities to grow and use spiritual gifts.
Sometimes it is necessary to evaluate our faithfulness in a relationship. Are the problems due to something I have done? Is the tension caused by something I have not done? Am I taking responsibility for my actions, or am I laying all the blame on someone else? It is easy to point the finger at others, but very difficult acknowledge our own mistakes.
Paul recognized the need to evaluate our faithfulness to God in 1 Corinthians 4:3-4: What about me? Have I been faithful? Well, it matters very little what you or anyone else thinks. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that isn’t what matters. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.
These verses made me pause and ask the very questions Paul asked of himself. What about me? Have I been faithful? It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or even what I think, because as Paul said I can’t trust my own opinion. But instead, God’s conclusion is what matters. What does God see in me? Does He view my motives as pure rather than selfish? Does He find a rebellious attitude or one of obedience? Does he see a desire to know Him more? Psalms 119:10-11 is my prayer: I have tried my best to find you – don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
What about you? Have you been faithful? Are you striving to put God before your family, your church, your job, your friends, and your hobbies?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38
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