Proverbs 20:6

God’s Faithful People

Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find? Proverbs 20:6

Not many couples still include “thereto I plight thee my troth” or “forsaking all others…’til death us do part” in their wedding vows. With these archaic phrases, the bride and groom formally promised to be faithful until the end of their lives. Nowadays, they might ask, “Will you still love me when I’m ___ years old?” With a fifty percent divorce rate, the answer is probably, “No, I’ll love you until our first disagreement,” or “until my fickle feelings change,” or “until I can trade you in for a younger model.”

Promises are easily broken; commitments often fade along with our youthfulness. Faithfulness may still be a desired virtue, but can we find “a faithful person”?

The ideas of “having faith” and “having fidelity,” are related. The Hebrew word for “faithful” in Proverbs 20:6 is checed.[1] Sometimes it’s translated mercy, kindness, lovingkindness, or goodness.

The good news is that when we become Christians, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside us (John 14:16-23). Through His power, we begin producing the fruit of the Spirit, one of which is faithfulness (Galatians 5:22-23). The word used for this fruit is the Greek pistis, which means “faith,” that is, conviction and belief. But it also includes faithfulness, fidelity, and having “the character of one who can be relied on.”[2]

As with every attribute the Holy Spirit produces in our lives, faithfulness involves tests, which we may fail, as well as repentance, forgiveness, and second chances. Consider Peter, who denied that he knew Jesus. After Peter repented, Jesus offered him forgiveness and a second chance.

When we arrive in heaven, we will come face to face with Jesus, the One who is named “Faithful and True,” and we will be like Him. Meanwhile, we rely on His faithfulness to us as we seek to faithfully maintain and restore relationships with one another.

DIG DEEPER:

What is the context for Jesus’ name “Faithful and True” in Revelation 19:6-15?

Trace the growth of Peter’s faith by reading the story of his sin, repentance, restoration, and second chance: John 18:15-27; John 21:1-19; Acts 2:1-41; Acts 3:1-26. In what way does his story encourage you?

To what other attributes of God is His faithfulness connected in Psalm 119:89-81 and Lamentations 3:21-23?

When you think of fidelity, do you think of times you’ve been betrayed or times you’ve betrayed others? Read 1 John 1:4-9. Confess your anger, bitterness, or guilt, and the One who is faithful will forgive you, cleanse you, and restore your joy!

Nancy J. Baker

[1] “Hebrew Lexicon :: H2617 (KJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 4 Nov. 11, 2014. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2617&t=NIV

[2] “Greek Lexicon :: G4102(NASB).” Blue Letter Bible. Accessed 4 Nov. 11, 2014. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H4102&t=NIV

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