Andrea Larson, Assisting Pastor
Today we will consider a more common definition of fidelity: “Faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support.”
This is the type of fidelity we think of when we expect people to be sexually faithful in their marriages. When we hear the Marine motto, “Semper Fi”, we may or may not know that this is the shortened version of the Latin phrase “Semper Fidelis” (always faithful), but we do understand that it means no Marine is left behind… EVER. We see advertisements for Fidelity, the investment company, trying so hard to convince us that their employees are worthy of this title, so our money can be entrusted to them. (Money and faithfulness in the same sentence may be a far stretch!) Sadly, true fidelity is quite uncommon in our individualistic, self-focused culture that encourages us to “Just do you” and grab what you “deserve”.
So, what does it mean to have faithfulness as a Jesus follower? Yesterday, we looked at our own personal walk of fidelity in imitating Jesus through abiding in him and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Today we will consider what it means to show fidelity in our relationships.
I have been married for 32 years and have been an active part of our New Hope church family for 29 of those years. I grew up in a loving, stable family in which my parents stayed loyally together till death parted them. I can attest to the fact that fidelity has brought great blessings to my life!
At this point, some of you are thinking: “How nice for you to have had faithful people in your life. I have had nothing but people who cheat and lie and focus on their own selfish interests.” If this is you, I am truly sorry. Jesus still calls you to be a faithful follower. Consider these scriptures:
“He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor.”Proverbs 21:21
“Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness. Tie them around your neck; write them on your heart. If you do this, both God and people will be pleased with you.”Proverbs 3:3-4
“I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you. Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other.”John 13:34-35
Even when we do our best to practice fidelity, we are all fallible human beings who will let one another down in one way or another. We must put our greatest trust and hope in the ONE who is the embodiment of fidelity! Here is THE BEST news:
“If we are unfaithful, HE REMAINS FAITHFUL, for he cannot deny who he is.”2 Timothy 2:13
What an amazing truth! Meanwhile, the Lord has given us EACH OTHER in a church community to provide loyal support through good times and bad. I am especially grateful to be part of our Stephen Ministry here at New Hope. Just recently, 7 more FAITHFUL, LOYAL people went through a 50-hour training course (during the pandemic, no less!) so that they could join our ministry group to be available to walk through tough times with YOU! They are ready to listen to you in a completely confidential manner, pray with you, and be there for you with great fidelity.
Finally, it’s a given at this point that we are heading into a very different and “memorable” Christmas season. In the midst of the uncertainty, let us keep in mind that Jesus remains King over all! And let us not despair, but determine that this year will be one of special commitment—as we sing “O Come All Ye Faithful”, let us DECIDE to truly be his “joyful and triumphant” loyally devoted servants as we come to adore him, Christ the Lord.
- Consider people in your life whom you have let down and those who have let you down. Confess your sins of unfaithfulness to the Lord and, if possible, to a trusted human being. Seek the Lord’s help in forgiving those who have been disloyal to you.
- If you are feeling lonely, stressed or forgotten and don’t have a faithful listener in your life, go to our Stephen Ministry link on the New Hope homepage. Fill out a form to find out if being matched with a Stephen Minister is right for you.
- If you are a person who would like to make yourself available to BE a faithful supporter for others, consider joining our Stephen Ministry training coming up in the new year. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know of your interest, so that I can include you in our future communications. Imagine belonging to a group of wonderful people who share this ministry passion – they are THE BEST!