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QUALITIES OF FAITHFULNESS — Fruit of the Spirit — Part 6

Las Cualidades de Fidelidad — Fruto del Espíritu — Parte 6

by

Mary Hunt Webb

Posted Thursday, November 30, 2017

A photographic image of a boy playing a piano.

Like this little boy, my nephew made a commitment to daily practicing and playing the piano at an early age. [Photographer: Nightowl. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.]

As a child, my nephew, David, was fascinated with the piano in our home. When he would come to our house, he begged me to teach him to play songs. I started by teaching him simple ones. Then, he begged his mother to teach him more. It was never difficult to find David anywhere because we only had to follow the sound of whatever piano he had found. Over the years, his dedication to learning and practicing caused him to become a professional musician. Although he held multiple jobs to support himself with his music, he was willing to do that because he was so devoted to it.

David once confided to me that people often told him, "I wish I could play the piano as well as you do." He replied, "You could if you practiced and played the piano six hours or more a day, as I do!"

In his dedication to the piano, David demonstrated a type of faithfulness. He was committed to his musical instrument.

My own husband has been faithful in taking weather observations morning and evening since he was a teenager. For decades, he has noted and written down the temperature, any precipitation, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, barometric pressure (or weight of the air overhead), the presence of any clouds, the type of clouds, and the elevation of those clouds above the ground. Combining these observations with his past experience, he could make predictions about the coming weather systems. In writing these down in his weather notebook every day, he has been faithful to weather forecasting. His commitment to weather has reassured me because I knew if he were that committed to the science of weather forecasting, he would also keep his commitment to me – and he has.

We often hear such dire reports of divorce statistics and unfaithfulness in modern marriages that it leads many to think that lasting marriages are a thing of the past. However, such reports depend on the choices that reporters make in choosing news items. In fact, divorce rates in the United States have leveled off since the 1980s when they were highest. According to the 2010 census statistics, more than half of married couples in the United Sates have remained married at least 15 years. Roughly one-third have been married 25 years while six percent have been married more than 50 years.

A photographic image of an elderly couple walking on a country path.

Getting married is easy but remaining married over decades calls for faithfulness and commitment to each other. [Photographer: Coombesy. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.]

Long-lasting marriages as well as long-term careers require adherence to a promise or duty, steadfastness or consistency in behavior, allegiance, loyalty, tolerance, and trust. Those are qualities of faithfulness. People that understand the concept of faithfulness and its application to their lives are also likely to understand and embrace Christianity because faithfulness is one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. In those verses, the Apostle Paul wrote, "22) By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things." (New Living Translation)

Most of the other fruits of the Spirit that we have reviewed in this series are ones that are directed toward other people as well as to God. However, this seventh fruit of the Spirit can also involve a commitment to an ability, an interest, a talent, a career, and even to oneself. One can commit oneself to refrain from tobacco, drugs, alcohol, and sexual involvement outside of marriage. Those are promises one makes to oneself. Keeping such promises involves faithfulness to oneself as well as to God because He honors purity.

When we keep God's commandments to be pure and put into practice the fruits of the Spirit, we find that He remains faithful in His promises to us. The extent of God's faithfulness to us is immeasurable. In Psalm 57, David, the former shepherd, reflected on this vastness in verses 9-10 when he wrote, "9) I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10) For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds." (New Revised Standard Version)

Thus, when we are faithful in our commitments and our duties, we reflect God's love. And that can be a wordless witness to others.

BiBLE VERSES FOR THiS POSTiNG

Galatians 5:22-23 — 22) By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. (New Living Translation)

Gálatas 5:22-23 — 22) Mas el fruto del Espíritu es amor, gozo, paz, paciencia, benignidad, bondad, fe, 23) mansedumbre, templanza; contra tales cosas no hay ley. (Reina-Valera 1960)

Psalm 57:9-10 — 9) I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10) For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds. (New Revised Standard Version)

Salmos 57:9-10 — 9) Te alabaré entre los pueblos, oh Señor; Cantaré de ti entre las naciones. 10) Porque grande es hasta los cielos tu misericordia, Y hasta las nubes tu verdad. (Reina-Valera 1960)

A photographic image of a lake at sunset.

God's faithfulness is immeasurable. [Photographer: DFNatureAwed. Photo courtesy of Stockvault.net.]

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