Should characterize our relationships: As friends, Prov.27:6,9,10,17; 1Sam.18:1 As spouses, Heb.13:4; Matt.19:4-6; 1Cor.7:2-5 As employees, Eph.6:5-9 As brethren, Rom.12:9-16 But is being faithful in these relationships the same as being faithful to God? Can one be a “faithful” friend, spouse, employee, and church member without being “faithful” to God? Before we answer that….
Let’s hone in on something related, but a little more specific… Christians need to stop defining “faithful” as “consistently present in the assembly.” One can be present at every assembly and be a hypocritical heathen! 1Cor.5:1ff And one can consistently be absent from the assembly and still be “faithful”! 3John 9-10; Acts 24:27 “Faithful to God” and “faithful in attendance” is just not the same thing.
“What? Are you saying that: Regular, consistent attendance isn’t important?” That’s not what I said- Heb.10:25 is still there; and v.26 still equates “forsaking our own assembling together” with “sinning willfully”. But I am saying that just “showing up” is not all there is to “faithfulness,” Heb.10:19-24,25. “Faithfulness” at judgment will not be determined by check marks on an attendance chart, Matt.25:31-46.
“Well then, are you saying that: Faithfulness to God and faithfulness to the local church aren’t related?” That’s not what I said either. I said they are not the same thing. In fact, let’s go further… Faithfulness to God is linked with faithfulness to your friends, spouses, employers, and brethren! Titus 2:1-15
Now, if you’re scratching your head in confusion, Let’s clarify two simple truths: 1.One can be “faithful” to friends, spouse, employers, and even brethren (in some senses at least) without being “faithful” to God. But, 2.One cannot be “faithful” to God without being “faithful” to friends, spouse, employers, and brethren!
Before we close, let’s do a little how to work… How to be “faithful” to a: 1.Friend? Prov.27: tell them the truth- always, v.6; counsel them toward God, v.9; be dependable and depend on them, v.10; help be better and expect them to help you be better, v.27. 2.Spouse? All of the above + be pure/honorable, Heb.13:4; leave & cleave and become one flesh, Matt.19:4-6; don’t deprive, don’t leave, and sanctify one another, 1Cor.7:2-5,10,12-14.
Before we close, let’s do a little how to work… How to be “faithful” to: 3.Employees/Employers? Eph.6: be obedient, sincere and consistent, vv.5-6; work with good will, v.7; remember God is watching, vv.8-9. 4.Brethren? Rom.12: be sincere and pure, v.9; be devoted and preferential, v.9; be diligent and fervent, v.10; be dedicated and united, vv.12-13; be non-retaliatory and empathetic, vv.14-15; be open and consistent to all, v.16.
Now, the take- home points… How to be “faithful” to God: Obviously, first be faithful to your friends (for they too are His creation), spouse (for they are His gift to you), employer/employees (for they are His provision for you), and brethren (for they are also His children), Luke 16:10. It also means understanding and living everyday (not just Sunday) Micah 6:6-8. Let’s be faithful in all that it means!