THE SOCIETAL HEDGE OF THE CHURCH - P8
“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much” (Luke 16:10).
Faithfulness is an essential service to those around us. To be faithful means being loyal, constant, and steadfast in whatever you have agreed to do and the expectations and responsibilities implied in your participation with your society. Without faithfulness, there is no trust.
Practically speaking, faithfulness is the glue that keeps a community together. It means people can trust that you will follow through for them when they need you—that they can trust their lives, livelihood, and families to your commitments and responsibilities. Being faithful can be disadvantageous and difficult to your self-interest because faithfulness is about self-sacrifice and self-control for the good of others. Faithfulness is about the long-term good of everyone, not short-term pleasures, self-interest, or instant gratification.
God holds Himself to the highest standard of faithfulness for “ALL His work is done in faithfulness” (Ps. 33:4, emphasis added), and He desires us to follow His example. Jesus taught us that faithfulness means being trustworthy where your commitments to God are concerned (First Commandment) and following through in your commitments to your neighbor’s good (Second Commandment). The Scriptures teach us that we should endeavor to be faithful in whatever we have committed ourselves to or whatever has been entrusted to us—even if it is the slightest or smallest thing, because proving ourselves faithful here shows that we can be entrusted to be faithful in things of greater consequence.
This is what good parenting understands—children must be trained to be faithful and trustworthy in little things before they can be entrusted with responsibilities that might cause harm if not followed through upon. Only a foolish parent overlooks a child’s lack of faithfulness in the small things and gives them responsibilities in big things. Disaster and harm will follow such decisions.
Unfortunately, whole generations of children are being raised with no expectation of faithfulness and without any understanding of what it means, since their parents also break faith with them. We see faithlessness and treachery growing everywhere that faithfulness is required—marriage, parenting, family responsibility, looking out for our neighbors and community, business services, governance, medical support, etc. “The Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness Or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, And everyone who lives in it languishes” (Hosea 4:1b-3a). Everywhere, people are failing to follow-through—betraying their responsibilities, duties, promises, and commitments to God and their neighbors, and the fabric of society breaks down: “like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble” (Pro. 25:19).
The Founders of America understood that a free society of self-governance can only hold together if bound by each person’s faithfulness in their commitments to God and each other—if not, it devolves into either anarchy (where everyone does what is right in their own eyes) or tyranny (where everyone obeys the ruler through fear), which is why the Founders passionately insisted Christian values were absolutely essential to America’s success.
May we testify, as many of them did, that God’s Word is spiritual life, offering reconciliation and eternal life to all men through His Son’s payment in blood for their sins. And, may we also testify that God’s Word is practical life for our relationships, neighborhoods, and society, renewing ourselves in our commitments to God and faithfulness to our fellow man. Even so, Amen.