Lenten Day 29: FAITHFULNESS AND HONESTY
TOPIC: FAITHFULNESS AND HONESTY
TEXT: 3 JOHN 1:1-6
FAITHFULNESS means keeping faith, staying loyal to something, or showing a strong sense of duty. It is commitment to truth, and is shown through obedience. Abraham’s life is an example: He relied upon God’s word and acted upon it. Words such as “firmness,” “constancy,” or “trustworthiness” best convey the related concept of faithfulness. To be unfaithful is to be unworthy of someone’s confidence or belief. In the Old Testament, “truth” is used as a synonym for “faithfulness.” Since God is always true, He can logically be trusted (Ps 71:22; Is 61:8). The word “faithfulness” is frequently used in the Old Testament to describe the way God always keeps His promises.
Husbands and wives vow on their wedding day to be faithful to one another, devoted and committed to one another in all areas of marriage. It is a vow to be with the other mate, to stay with the other mate, and to build up the other mate. Again and again throughout the Bible, God holds faithfulness up as one of His foundational qualities and a foundational quality He expects from His people. There is nothing like the faithfulness of a mate, friends and family, and God to build our sense of security.
The pinnacle of faithfulness in the Bible is seen in the work of Jesus Christ, who showed Himself faithful to His Father (Heb 3:2) and in His witness (Rev 1:5). God calls men and women to be faithful by following Christ, relying on Him for all things (Heb 2:4; compare Rom 1:17), because faithfulness is one of His (God’s) attributes Ps 89:5; Deut 7; 2 Thes 3:3.
HONESTY is an upright disposition; moral rectitude of heart; a disposition to conform to justice and correct moral principles, in all social transactions. In fact, upright conduct; an actual conformity to justice and moral rectitude; it also implies speaking the truth in all things. Honesty should not be confused with gossip. Just because you know something doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone about it. Honesty also involves integrity, making sure that what you say is helpful and builds others up rather than tearing them down. The person who thinks before speaking is often the wisest. (Eccl 3:7 Prov 29:20, Prov 18:4.Col 4:6)
FRUITS OF HONESTY
Honest dealings reveal your character. Prov 12:5 Mat 12:33 Luke 16:10
Honesty brings a clear conscience. 1 Tim 1:19.
Dishonesty and deception is a form of bondage because we are always trying to hide our real motives. Prov 11:3
Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Philippians, in chapter four verse eight, sums up by saying “finally, my brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure whatsoever thing are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be virtue ,if there be any praise, think on these things.” That means everything you do as a Christian must show good report of faithfulness and honesty. Faithfulness and honesty are aspects of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). Faithfulness means being trustworthy, while honesty means being truthful. The two are synonymous to each other because one cannot be faithful (trustworthy) without being honest (truthful) and vice versa. The bible says in Proverbs 14:5 that “A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.
Major areas we are expected to be faithful
- In our dealings with God and Man – 2 Cor 8:21.
- In our service to God – 2Chr 19:8 and 9.
Faithfulness and Honesty attract blessings
- Blessings of all kinds – Proverbs 28:20.
- Blessing of protection – Psalms 101:6.
- Blessing of preservation – Psalms 31:23.
- Blessing of inheritance – Psalms 24:3-5
INTEGRITY is another strand of faithfulness and honesty. Integrity means honesty in life and adherence to moral principles. From the above definition, you can infer that integrity encompasses faithfulness and honesty.
Expectations of living in integrity
- Linked with keeping God’s commandment –1kings 9:4.
- Expected of Christian leaders – Titus 2:7.
- Required in business dealings – Deut 25:15
- God expects honesty in every business deal – Prov 16:11
FAITHFULNESS AND HONESTY EXEMPLIFIED
Joseph – Gen 39:22-23; Moses- Num 12:7; Heb 3:2,5; David- 1st Sam 22:14; Hananiah – Neh 7:2; Abraham – Neh 9:8, Gal 3:9; Daniel- Dan 6:4; Paul – Act 20:20,27; Timothy – 1st Cor 4:17; Tychicus – Eph 6:2; Epaphras – Col 1:7; Onesimus- Col 4:9; Silvanus – 1st Pet 5:12; Jacob, returning money which had been placed in the sacks – Gen 43:12; The overseers of the temple repairs – 2Ki 12:15; 2Ki 22:4-7; Treasurers of the temple – Neh 13:13;
The bible says in 1st corintians 1:9 that “God is faithful, by whom ye were called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” Because God is faithful, He expects us, His children who are created in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:27), to be faithful and honest as well (see Romans 13:13). Faithfulness, then, is not a one-time act. Rather, it is an attitude that should characterize the entire life of those who say they have faith in God.
People with a reputation for exaggeration or lying often can’t get anyone to believe them on their word alone. Christians should never become like that. Always be honest so that others will believe your simple yes or no. By avoiding lies, half-truths, and omissions of the truth, you will become known as a trustworthy person. Honesty is faithful and truthful, right, fair, honourable, free from deception, and marked by integrity. God urges us to conduct our daily living with complete honesty and faithfulness