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The Importance of Being Faithful, part 1

June 22, 2010

by Jeremiah Kim

All of us want to live meaningful lives. And my guess is that, where we given the opportunity to seal our legacy today, we would go incredible lengths, sacrificing all of the non-essentials to achieve our life goals. But what if our lives meaning look longer to find and form? What if it took a lifetime?

We live in a culture saturated by a 24-hour news cycle, 140-word Tweets, and 5-second attention spans. Our minds jump from product to product, cause to cause, idea to idea, wooed by the newest and what ad agencies would like you to believe is the greatest. What happens naturally then is that our minds are trained to look quickly, but not deeply. We of this generation are able to sift through incredible amounts of information, yet find it difficult to sit and carefully consider a 400-word essay let alone the character we are developing.

To me it’s clear that we live in a world full of incredible faith, yet short on faithfulness.

The writer of Ecclesiastes writes that God has put eternity in the hearts of men, which is another way to say that our longings for significance and meaning point to a purpose with eternal ramifications. Yet, oftentimes we settle for the quick fix. We believe, in faith, that we are just one change away from fulfilling our destinies. In doing so, we believe the lie that all of our life’s meaning can be unlocked with one hit single, job offer, or brilliant invention (Silent Velcro, anyone?). Yet, as we often find, the truth is that this kind of faith can only leave us disappointed.

Thankfully, not only did Jesus command us to live with faith, he talked about faithfulness. As did Apostle Paul. And it seems like if it was a big deal to them, we should at least consider how it might affect the way we live out our existence.

In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul compares our lives to a race. Now, if you’ve ever trained for and competed in a long distance footrace you know how difficult it is to compete, not to mention to finish the race. It’s a tall task to run hard, especially after the pre-race excitement has quickly dissipated and the finish line is still far off. It’s difficult too, to embrace hope after fruitless years of community college in multiple majors and graduation is still a long way away. It would be easy to pray for swift deliverance, a quick fix, a blessed injury (no joke, I have wished for this during a miserable race), a winning lottery ticket, something, anything to get you out of where you are.

The big idea though, is that each of these moments and seasons of life have a purpose. Paul writes that hardship “produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4) Our lives, our legacies, our purpose in life is not on what we can accomplish. It is about character. Character that is forged through perseverance and faith, demonstrated both when it comes naturally and when it does not. Our faithfulness must be developed through continually hearing and heading the call of God in our lives. To be faithful we must understand that the road ahead of us is long and there are no shortcuts. But though difficult, it’s only when we travel this long and sometimes lonely road we will find true joy and contentment.

> What relationships or pursuits have you committed to deeply investing into?
> Are you being challenged to commit faithfully to something/someone? What is keeping you from taking that step?

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