Examples of faithfulness catch our attention. One example of faithfulness went viral in 2013. The video “What is Love?” told the story of Bill and Glad Forward. It has been viewed almost 2 million times. The video tells the story of Bill and Glad and how they met more than 50 years ago. Like many couples they faced each other and made promises to be faithful to each other and take care of each other no matter what came to them in life.
Bill and Glad shared a love of many things including bikes. When their children were born they added seats to carry the kids with them. Both were very giving people. They spent much of their lives helping lepers and orphans in India and Romania.
But then, around 2004 or 2005, Bill noticed something going wrong with Glad. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Bill talks in the video about how he has to do everything for his wife. Sunup to sundown. He brushes her teeth. He dresses her. He feeds her.
He says, “I don’t count it a burden whatsoever. I count it a privilege to care for this one I have loved all these years.”
Tales of faithfulness impact us. We’ve seen unfaithfulness. Friends who said they’d always be there for us leave over something ridiculous. Couples who vow to love each other drift once the honeymoon is over. Workers look out only for themselves and hurt the company in doing so. And so when we see faithfulness we long to be a faithful person.
Maybe that’s why faithfulness is one of the virtues found in those who follow Christ. In Paul’s list of the fruit of the Spirit in a believer’s life he lists “faithfulness.” The word is the Greek word pistis, or “faith.” But when used in this way it has the meaning of “fidelity” or “the character of one who can be relied on.”
Faithfulness is a characteristic of God. The Psalmist declared, “Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies” (Psalm 36:5 NIV). The Hebrew word is emunah and literally means “firmness,” figuratively means “security” and morally means “fidelity.”
And faithfulness is to be a characteristic of Jesus followers. In the parable of the talents the master is looking for faithfulness in his servants. He is looking for reliability.
When we are unfaithful the path back is confession and repentance. With God. And with others. Acknowlege where you did not keep your word. Listen for the impact your unfaithfulness had on the other person. Offer a sincere apology. Then re-promise.
Confession and repentance lead us to becoming more faithful. And as God’s Spirit continues his work in us we will day by day, year by year, become faithful people.
Faithful to God. And faithful to others.
Who knows? A video might be made of one of us someday that will be out of the ordinary.