July 26, 2017

Pastoral Nuggets: The Importance of Faithfulness

If I asked you to develop a litmus test to determine if somebody is faithful in any relationship or cause, what parameters would you include?

Would your test include things like a solemn commitment to the stated cause and purpose by the person you are testing?

How about regular attendance, enthusiastic participation, preparedness, tirelessly advocating for the cause and purpose by the person? Would it include those as well? It probably would.

And rest assured; these are indeed valid measuring points.  However, would it surprise you if I told you that, in my opinion, these measuring points are not the most valid?  If so, please keep reading.

In 2 Timothy 2:2(KJV) the Apostle Paul was speaking to the young pastor, Timothy when he told him, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

So, if I am rightly dividing the Word of God here, I am made to understand that the most critical measuring point regarding faithfulness – is whether or not we are teaching others the great truths that have were invested into us by those that preceded us.

You see, all of the knowledge in the world, if simply learned but not invested, becomes vain! It’s a moot point. It means nothing. The only thing of consequence it means is – we failed!

Education is important. I cannot overstate that fact. I wish I had more “book learning!” And I admire those who have excelled academically.

However, in my opinion, the truth is that while we have more academic opportunity in America than any nation in the world, we are woefully lacking in those who teach life-application skills by modeling them in real life situations.

I never took a high school or college course on how a husband should love his wife and family, provide for them, and what a healthy family should look like. I had something much better.

For approximately fifty-five years I had it modeled before me every day of my life! I saw it, heard it, smelled it, tasted it, and felt it. Therefore, I knew what it looked like! And while I’m at it, I never took a course on recognizing my self-worth.

It was reinforced in me daily by my parents and the other prominent adults in my life.  And I could also mention discipline, responsibility, honesty, manners, the value of hard work, and a myriad of other traits that I didn’t learn from a book, but learned from the Godly examples in my life!

How then do we measure faithfulness or success? It’s simple. We measure it by the product being produced by the generation(s) following us. Paul told young Timothy to commit what he had taught him unto faithful men that they might teach others.

And the truth is that there is a “great disconnect” in America today regarding the values that were modeled before and instilled into my generation, than the values being modeled before and instilled into the generation(s) that follow. We have dropped the ball big time!

Here is the simple litmus test for personal faithfulness: Are you modeling before and instilling your Christian values into the generation(s) following you? How do you know whether or not you are? Simply look at the product of their lives. There is your answer! Have you been faithful?

God help us!

Brother Aaron  

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