“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2 NIV)
It’s not easy to find someone who can really be counted on. 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!” As a pastor, I’ve learned the truth of that statement. I’ve learned that not everyone who volunteers to serve will actually come through.
Why is faithfulness so important in the Christian life? In the first place, we should be faithful because God is faithful. Psalm 33:4 says, “He is faithful in all he does” (NIV). Since God desires for us to be like him, he wants us to learn to be faithful.
In addition, faithfulness makes life much easier. Unfaithfulness is the cause of so many problems that Proverbs 25:19 says, “Like a broken tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble” (NIV).
Do you know what the writer is saying? He’s saying that unreliable people are a pain — like a bad toothache. They’re like a limp foot. You know what it’s like to have a bunion or a corn on your foot. It hurts, doesn’t it? When you’re depending on an unreliable person, you can never quite relax. In the back of your mind you’re always wondering, “Will he let me down again, or will he come through this time?” Working with inconsistent people is extremely frustrating.
We all look for faithfulness in others as we go about our daily activities. We want the paper carrier to be reliable. We want the mail carrier to be faithful. When I mail a letter, I depend on the mail service to get it there. I want the food at my favorite restaurant to be consistent from week to week.
The most famous geyser in America is Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful is not the biggest geyser in America. And it’s not the most powerful geyser in America. What makes it famous is its faithfulness! It’s like clockwork. It’s dependable. People appreciate dependability, even in a geyser.
Talk About It
Who can count on you? Do you have a reputation for being reliable? Would someone who knows you well stake his life on your faithfulness?
The duration of your life is of less importance to God than the donation of your life. Take what you’ve learned from God and pass it on to others. What do you need to change in your life so you can begin living for godly significance?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.