In Proverbs 20:6 the Bible asks a rhetorical question: "Who can find a faithful man?" The Psalmist would probably respond, “It’s not impossible, but by golly, it’s getting harder and harder. They’re scarcer then hen’s teeth!” It is difficult to find a person who is consistently faithful. The Good News Bible translates Proverbs 20:6 this way, "Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is."
Faithfulness hinges upon what we value as important combined with commitment. Humans have a powerful tendency to be faithful to what they think is truly important, be it a family name, spouse, friendship, employer, school, athletic team or even certain things like a make of automobile.
Here in Galatians 5:22, every modern translation renders the word that the KJV translates into "faith" as "faithfulness," "fidelity" or "good faith." In his commentary on Galatians, William Barclay writes, "This word (pistis) is common in secular Greek for trustworthiness. It is the characteristic of the man who is reliable"
This evening I want to us to look at the seventh characteristic, or fruit, of God's Spirit in our life. This is the virtue of faithfulness. As believers, we need to be cultivating the fruit of faithfulness in our lives.
Many times at a retirement party a person will receive a gold watch for their 25, 30, or 35 years of faithful service. We may look with fondness at that clunker of a car that gets us where we want to go. It may be ugly, but it is faithful. It does the job. We may pat our seven-year-old dog on his head and praise him for being such a faithful dog. In each of those instances we are referring to the person or object’s reliability—their trustworthiness to be committed to a person or task for the long-haul.
God desires that we would grow in faithfulness. It is an important characteristic of the Christian faith, and one of the Scriptural indicators that we are genuinely a Christian. Like all of the Spirit’s virtues, faithfulness is not unique to the Christian faith. It does, however, find its greatest fulfillment among those who profess Christ as Savior.
These are the principles that if you will obey God's word, God, by his Spirit, will enable you to grow in faithfulness. If you learn to: Keep Your Promises, Honor Your Marriage, Use Your Talents, Make the Most of Your Time, Stand by Your Friends, Manage Your Money, Do Your Best at Work, Commit Yourself to a Church.
As we step out in faith in these areas, God, by his Spirit, will create faithfulness as a character trait of our lives.
I can not emphasize the importance of faithfulness in our lives. You know, the Bible tells us in the parable of the talents of how the master who went away and left his servants in charge of his kingdom. Now when the master came back, he rewarded his servants for how faithful they were. He did not reward them on their education, good intentions were but how faithful they were in being faithful to his kingdom. Well, Jesus has left us to this world. He has given us resources and talents and all kind of things so that we can invest in this world for the kingdom of God. There is a day coming when Jesus will return. The question is, "Will Jesus find us faithful in doing his work?" Being faithful in using our time, resources and our talents for the kingdom of God.