Written by:
Minoka Gunesekera

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Faithfulness and the Reasons Behind It

Ephesians 5:15-17

I, like many other people, fall into the temptation of being overcommitted. I feel accomplished when I can rattle off all the things I am doing in a given week. But as I have gotten older, and my commitments have gotten more numerous, I have realized a huge part of being faithful is having the courage to say “no.”

“No” to overworking ourselves and others. “No” to guilt. “No” to pressure. “Yes” to discerning both what I am doing, and why I am doing it.

Faithfulness to people and titles/organizations should reflect the ways that God is faithful to us. When God is faithful to us God is doing what’s in our best interest. That is why in Galatians 5:22 one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is faithfulness. As our understanding of what it means to be faithful changes, the fruits of the holy spirit grow in us. Thus, when we are being faithful to God we are acting in the best interest of the flourishing of the kingdom of God!

Faithfulness is not only an action but a process.

It is about decentering and recentering. Decentering away from what God has called us to be and recentering towards right relationships with God and with our neighbor. As Christians our thoughts, words and deeds should always be reflecting God’s grace and love. That’s our “commitment to being chosen.” As young adults we live in a society that says “Do everything, all the time!” Instead of being over-committed, how can we be fully committed to God?

I believe we have a great opportunity to reframe faithfulness in ways that are not so much of “Do all the time” but “chose well and choose with integrity.” This choice isn’t easy. Sometimes being faithful looks like loving Truth more than people. It looks like knowing that God didn’t create me to run dry. It looks like believing that if people think less of me, God still loves me completely.

[Let us say] "yes" to discerning both what I am doing, and why I am doing it.

Some may call this “self-care”, but whatever you call it, I think that more and more young people need to cultivate it. Being faithful to what we do and how we do it must always reflect God. Whatever you are faithful to, may it always lead you closer to God.

My prayer for us all is that today we stop striving for all the trophies of titles, accolades and praise. Instead, let us remember the virtues that got us those titles in the first place, and use those virtues to reflect God’s love to the world.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What do you need to decenter from?
  2. In what ways can the United Methodist Church (local churches, campus ministries, etc.) help you recenter towards Christ?
  3. What are you faithful to? Does it glorify God?
  4. How does the Holy Spirit help you bear the fruit of faithfulness?