I’ve said before that I don’t have a lifetime enemy or a longstanding rival.  However, lately I have noticed a prospect lurking in the weeds.  He gets on my nerves.  He angers me to no end.  And there is no way that I can ever get rid of him.  You guessed it, my potential arch nemesis is the silent letter.

Knife.  Pneumonia.  Debt.  Receipt.  I don’t get it.  Why?  WHY?  WHY?!!!

Silent letters kill me, and it seems like people are using them more and more in names.  I tried to get my wife to name our son “QBT”, pronounces as “John” where the Q and T are silent but the B makes a “John” sound.  It.Makes.No.Sense.

I also have issues with words that have double meanings like bat, saw, tear, and feet.  Why can’t we just create another word?  I’d be willing to learn a new word, as long as there are no silent letters.

As we move on to our next discussion on the fruit of the Spirit, we come to a word that indeed has more than one meaning:  faithfulness.  I have said that each of the fruit on the list has deeper meanings than you can see on the surface.  And I am sure books could be (and have been) written on faithfulness.  So for now, let’s just talk about the two basic interpretations.

To break it down to the different parts of the word, it is obvious that faithfulness can be translated as "being full of faith."  Faith means believing in something that you cannot prove to be there.  We are called to have faith in God, faith in the gospel, and faith that God will provide us with what we need to carry out His purpose for our lives.

If we have faith in God, we will have no choice but to trust and obey.  And from what I hear, there’s no other way.  We will follow Him wherever He leads us, even when we cannot see the next step in our faith.  We will take risks that defy the “this is all there is” attitude that we all continue to practice no matter how often we denounce it.

Faith produces the most Godly of fruit.  When we follow Him in faith, His work is carried out in the most pure and genuine of ways.  That means He truly gets the glory and it is easier for non-believers to see His hand at work.  Now that’s quality fruit.

The other interpretation of faithfulness is similar to the definition of loyalty.  Faithfulness involves being fully devoted to a person, a cause, an idea or a relationship.  If we are to remain faithful to God, we should praise Him no matter what is going on in our lives.  We are to obey Him no matter what is on the line.  We are to stay focused on Him no matter what beautiful or scary distractions try to get in the way.

Being faithful and remaining true to your relationship with Him, no matter what, is the greatest thing you can do as a witness to others.  In reading A Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, some of his most convincing evidence for Jesus being the Christ is the behavior of His disciples that we see in the book of Acts.  Other history documents support Acts in the fact that the disciples were fully devoted to the cause of Christ and to their relationships with Him.  They were so loyal that they were willing to be humiliated, tortured, and killed without even considering changing their story. 

That is how the good news of Jesus Christ spread from several dozen people in an upper room to the rest of the civilized world, and ultimately to you.  Those dudes were faithful, and their fruit is undeniable.  So let’s follow their lead.  Be full of faith and be loyal to God no matter what, and the fruit will basically produce itself.  That’s the power of faithfulness.

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