Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”
Faithfulness… a multi-layered candle that burns in the heart.
What images come into your mind when you think of faithfulness? A relationship between a person and God? Marital fidelity? Dependability? And how can we incorporate this fruit of the Spirit into our daily living?
I’d like to offer some thoughts today in two areas – friends, and self. Think back to a time when you were really in need, and a friend came through for you. Or perhaps it was the situation in reverse – you had a friend who was going through a particularly rough patch, and you stood by her… maybe cooking for her, or offering a listening ear, or kidnapping her for a coffee, dessert and a well-needed cry. There is nothing like a faithful friend who is there for you. I remember years ago I was going through a particularly dark and painful period in my life. One day, I heard a knock at my door, and there were several of my dear friends, standing in the pouring rain, their smiles shining brighter than the sun hidden behind the storm clouds, their laughter as colorful as their umbrellas. They had come to pull me out of the quicksand of my depression and whisk me away to lunch. It was so unexpected, and I spent the day accepting the love they poured over me, laughing, crying, and just being together. I treasure that healing memory (and those friends) to this very day. Now… what person is coming to mind for you right now that could use a friend like that?
The second layer of faithfulness that I’d like to highlight is that of your faithfulness to… yourself. Sound odd? Perhaps.
But are you true to you?
Do you keep promises that you’ve made to you? Do you speak words of kindness, encouragement and support to yourself, or do you treat yourself poorly and go back on your own word to that person in the mirror? Have you abandoned and given up on you? If so, the good news is you can begin fresh today. If you are trying to get healthier, start now with better food choices and meal planning and preparation. Get back to the gym. Make good on some of those new year’s resolutions that got lost around March or April! What vows did you whisper to your own heart that you can still be faithful to fulfill? Bear the fruit of faithfulness in your own life. You are worthy, and worth your own loyalty.
Pray to the One Who is all that is Faithful for strength to bear His fruit this week, one piece, one day at a time. Abundance isn’t overnight… it’s one piece of fruit, one promise, one act of fidelity, constancy and devotion. It starts with you…
it starts with your very.next.breath.
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