Sunday, July 12, we continued month seven in our nine month study on the Fruits of the Spirit. Our focus for July is the fruit of Faithfulness. This week we looked at the components that make up the seed of faithfulness. Faithfulness with in us is alive and not static. It is growing and ever expanding. Thus, the components of faithfulness are also ever growing and expanding in nature. There are at least two aspects that make up faithfulness.
First is the aspect of detachment or non-clinging. Detaching involves being able to leave or not cling to what is known and comfortable. We are creatures of habit and do not easily leave what is known or comfortable. In order to detach and follow God we must first trust (at a gut level) that He is trustworthy and faithful. We will not leave the familiar unless we have reason to do so and a sense of trust in whom we follow. The beauty of God is that He invites us into many small acts of detaching/non-clinging each day (e.g. letting go of the results of a work project, accepting family and friends as they are, turning over how we spend our our time, money and relationships on a daily basis, etc). If we are aware of and practice these small acts of detaching , we will grow in our experience that God is faithful and trustworthy. Once we know that He is trustworthy we will find that we are able to detach and not cling to old habits, ways of thinking and comforts, but rather faithfully and joyfully follow where He leads.
A second aspect of faithfulness is acceptance. We cannot be faithful until we accept who we are and the gifts and life we have been given. In Matthew 25, the worker with only one talent was not found faithful because he rejected/did not accept what was given him. He likely counted it as of no value and simply discarded/hid it- not even putting it in the bank to gain interest. Only when we accept our abilities, resources, skills and talents, can we use them. As long as we compare ourselves to others, and covet the lives or possessions of others, we will be stuck and unable to be faithful to or with what we have been given. However, when we practice acceptance (by being grateful for who we are and what we have been given) the fruit of faithfulness grows.
Detachment and acceptance are key components to the seed of faithfulness. Mastering them is the work of a life time. However, both can be grown in our lives as we work with the Spirit to grow faithfulness in us.
By Babs May-Clark