“My word is my bond.” Sometimes I laugh when I hear that. I think, “Yeah, right.” Painful experience has taught me that some people’s promises are no good. I don’t want to lend them money, believe their stories, or depend on them for anything. They aren’t faithful. They are driven by other impulses—maybe laziness, insecurity, fear, or greed—but they aren’t faithful.
“The fruit of the Spirit is . . . faithfulness,” says St. Paul (Galatians 5:22). To be faithful means that you say what you mean and mean what you say. You don’t need to cross your heart and swear on a stack of Bibles because people know you tell the truth. You are loyal to your friends and family, don’t betray confidences, and keep your promises. You pay your debts. You don’t pretend to like people and undercut them later. Your boss loves your work because you deliver on your assignments. You don’t lie to him or her, don’t make excuses, and don’t blame other people.
Faithfulness is a Spirit-fruit. That means we are trained and inspired from the Spirit’s words in Scripture, and we are strengthened by the Spirit’s indwelling in our hearts and minds. While it’s true that unbelievers can show examples of faithfulness, when people claiming to be believers in Christ are unfaithful, it makes all Christians look like frauds and poseurs. Our faithful words and actions are evidence that our faith in Christ is real.
Your reputation is at stake. Christ’s reputation is at stake.