Who wants to be faithful in their faith? OK, I asked the obvious. But that is the thought in the following piece by my friend Stan. As we continue to prepare the new website, inspecting (and correcting in some cases!) all the previous posts has become necessary. That’s QUITE time consuming. So please continue to pray about that and enjoy Stan’s comments about being faithful.
The Faithful Christian: What Does It Take?
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control… (Galatians 5:22).
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you… (Matthew 28:19-20).
When I was dating my soon-to-be wife, I was helping her father on the farm. And he told me to go to the barn, get a wrench, and perform some sort of task. Now remember, I didn’t grow up there, I had never worked with him, and I just barely knew where the barn was much less what was in it. Yet, I was expected to be able to find a particular wrench. But it was assumed I would know which wrench, where it was, be able to retrieve it, and then be productive at an assigned task. The church often makes the same mistake.
Assumptions In The Church
People are expected to be fruitful in the Christian life, yet it is often assumed they know what to do and how to do it from the moment they become believers. And here is one example. They are expected to go out and evangelize the world. And to make matters worse, leaders may get frustrated when Christians can’t or don’t do what it was assumed they would know how to do. The predictable discouragement makes the leader’s frustration even greater. Could the cart be ahead of the horse?
Remember that girl I was about to marry? Rest assured I needed no coaching or encouragement to make her part of my conversations with anyone. I knew her. We spent a lot time together. I loved her and I talked about her without even thinking about it. And if someone had assigned me to go out and talk about her, it would have been the easiest task imaginable. Reaching the world should work the same way!
Faithful In Love
Maybe assumptions in the church should be replaced with teaching and leading believers to love the Lord with their whole heart and to grow in holiness. Then, the natural outcome would be the fruitful life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, and evangelism borne of an overflowing love for Christ. The Psalmist says we can water and fertilize the tree and look for the fruit (Psalm 1).
So, would your church look any different if it employed this model? Food for thought!
Article by Stan Bramlett. Stan is a friend of this ministry and frequent Mission Volunteer. Stan has played a major role in our Pastors’ Training School as an instructor and mentor. (Post originally published 8/2013)
About the featured image: Why do we associate faithful with our dogs? I offer no answers. But it’s a good question. And when we figure it out, maybe we should imitate that! – KB