It’s a new month, and we may still be stuck at home, but we believe that God is still good and that He will still do what He said.
Today we are looking at faithfulness and gentleness and how to express these fruit in our Spirit led lives.
Faithfulness is a conscious decision to abide to one’s own commitments and therefore is seen as trustworthiness. The issue of trust happens to be people’s biggest struggle across the board. For Christians it is an even bigger struggle because we do not just struggle to trust each other, we struggle daily to trust our very own God, despite encouragement from Psalm 37:4-6 to “delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday”. We need to therefore change our view of God, for He is not like man who lies (Numbers 23:19). Trusting people has always been hard because people always change their minds, but God stays the same (Hebrews 13:8).
God is Faithful, but He didn’t just in one scripture say that He is, instead He shows his faithfulness throughout the Bible.
We see an example of this in 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24: “May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it”. Faithfulness is His very nature, and He will keep His promises.
Have you ever experienced God as faithful? Take a minute. Think on it. Think back to when God really came through for you. When was the last time you looked back at your life and can honestly say: “All that happen, that was all God’’? As a people, we hold God to a very high standard in terms of His promises to us. We get really upset when we feel like God did not keep His word to us, but are we faithful to Him? Deuteronomy 7:9 reminds us that God is always who He says He is. It is so comforting to know that even in my unfaithfulness God does not change His standard. “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps His covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes His unfailing love on those who love Him and obey His commands.”
From this we see that it would be in our best interest to acknowledge faithfulness and gentleness as a vital fruit. The question then is how do we become faithful people? We can prove our faithfulness to God through our obedience. The more the fruit of faithfulness grows in us, the more we will desire God’s way. Instead of acting on our own thoughts and opinions, we need to let the Bible tell us how we should think and act. It means we’ll choose to be responsive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and go where He tells us to go, being faithful to God because of our love for Him. In this way, we will learn to be faithful to our family, spouse, children, and those around us. We will be faithful because of our love for them; our love for our neighbour.
The fruit of gentleness is necessary to have healthy relationships. Gentleness is often mistaken for weakness. It is, however, strength under control. We are not pushovers who get taken advantage of by others. It doesn’t mean we sweep things under the rug and avoid confrontation. Gentleness means we are thoughtful with our words and responses, and we choose a response that would be beneficial to all involved. Jesus, who had the ability to dominate any interaction, chose to be loving and gentle in His responses, drawing people towards Him.
1 Peter 3:15-16 says, “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.”God wants to be with us – Genesis 1 and 2, and Revelation 21:3.
Over the years, Christians have forgotten this verse and have conducted themselves in ways that do not represent God well. We all need to go back and revisit this verse and remember God’s instruction on how to portray what we believe so that all who see and experience us will have a better report for what it is to be in God’s company.
What or who has been given into your care that you need to faithfully commit to?
Note a time in your life that God has been personally faithful to you. How has He proven His faithfulness?
Read Deuteronomy 7:9 again. Why do you think God wanted to prove His faithfulness to us?
Note areas in your life that you could commit to being gentler in your approach.
Read 1 Peter 3:15-16. What does a gentle response have the ability to do that a harsh response doesn’t?
Whether you’re a parent or teacher, what does obedience from your kids communicate to you? What does their disobedience communicate to you? How does this relate to our relationship with God?
Humble yourself today and ask God to show you practical ways that you can show faithfulness and gentleness to your relationship today.