“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9, NIV).
Faithfulness is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit listed in Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia (Galatians 5:22-23). Faithfulness is the language of love and relationship. Faithfulness is built upon loyalty, obedience, and staying true to God as our first love.
Recently, I wrote about Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine. I think it fits well with this discussion on faithfulness. So, I am quoting myself here. Don’t worry, I’ve given myself permission! Here’s what I wrote:
“I doubt that it’s any coincidence that Jesus’ first recorded miracle took place at a wedding banquet where he changed water into wine. Wedding imagery, after all, is used to describe Jesus’ sacrificial relationship with the Church, the community of all believers. Through such imagery, Jesus is portrayed as the adoring groom and the Church, his lovely bride. Having entered a covenant relationship with one another, each has vowed faithfulness. Often, her wayward heart will wander, and her eyes will gaze longingly upon another, but Jesus is fully committed to his bride and the vows he has made to her. He is in this relationship for the long haul and will honor her for better or for worse. Jesus will remain faithful to the Church in life and death, even death upon a cross.”
To me, this is an accurate summation of faithfulness. As sinful human beings, we often struggle with our side of the faithfulness equation when it comes to God. We look for meaning elsewhere. We falter and stray and flat-out cheat on our otherwise committed relationship with Christ. But, God is always faithful and continually strives to rebuild our sin-strained relationship.
God would never ask us to practice faithfulness if he wasn’t first committed to faithfulness himself. May this Spirit fruit continue to grow in each of us.