Fruity Fridays: 5 Ways to Own Your Faithfulness 

(A series about the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5)

The fruit of faithfulness is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit which require the most use of Galatians 5:24, which says,

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Faithfulness is not a natural trait we are born with. It flies in the face of our natural bend toward selfishness. Left to our own desires and passions, we keep moving from job to job, bed to bed, habit to habit, relationship to relationship because it’s just too hard to be faithful when you are wrapped up in “what’s in it for me?”

We have to give that bend to God. We have to choose to own faithfulness rather than selfishness and pursue it with the Holy Spirit’s aid. So how can we own our faithfulness? Here are five thoughts:

Own Your Purpose

Yes, your purpose is God-given. But he doesn’t make you pursue education. He doesn’t make you go on the job interview. He doesn’t make you leave a purposeless job to pursue the purposeful job. He gives you a purpose, but you have to own it. Chances are when you do own his given purpose, faithfulness will follow. (Biblical example: John the Baptist)

Own Your Margin

We all have the same amount of time. We haven’t all learned the value of margin, the value of saying “no,” or the hurt created by a flippant, inattentive “yes.” Your margin is yours; your time is yours to obediently and wisely fulfill your God-given purpose. Chances are when you own your margin, faithfulness will follow. (Biblical example: Jethro)

Own Your Commitments

If we take care of owning purpose and margin, this one is a lot easier. Commitments should not be causal, quick, or thoughtless. If the commitment is entered into only after checking it against purpose and margin, the odds of its longevity increase. Chances are when you own your commitments, faithfulness will follow. (Biblical examples: David and Jonathan)

Own Your Distractions

Owning purpose, margin, and commitments don’t negate self-imposed or enemy-induced distractions. You can be your own worst enemy; and, you are always target practice for enemy attacks to your mind, body, and soul. Know your susceptibilities. Know your distractions. Chances are when you own your distractions, faithfulness will follow. (Biblical example: Daniel)

Own Your Tendencies

Very few people know you like you know you. It may be that no human really knows you. We should all own the truth that God knows us, every part of us, even when we forget he does or try to behave like he doesn’t. Knowing your tendency to leave when you should stay, run when you should walk, talk when you should listen, or obsess when you should forget will move you along in owning your selfishness. Chances are when you own your tendencies, faithfulness will follow. (Biblical example: Paul)

Know Your Season

There are aspects of a job, of being a parent, of living that are a given that they should always be present. These aspects often actually go through a season where they are heightened to another level of intentionality or necessity. Solomon wrote about these examples in Ecclesiastes (see chapters 3&8). 

Here’s a directional question that could help you get more out of your seasons. Do you know your current season? If so, what intentionality are you getting out of it? If not, how could you determine the nature of your current season? Consider these possibilities:

Season of margin or rest or fun or renewal

  • God actually made this clear from the very beginning (Genesis 2; Exodus 20). He designed you with a seasonal need for rest. The more you intentionally seek it the better that need will be met.

Season of focus/little margin/doing

  • “…a time to plant and a time to uproot…a time to tear down and a time to build…” You probably spend most of your time in this season. A more directional question to ask yourself is what are you focused on right now and for how long-what is God’s intent for your current focus/doing.

Season of giving

  • You should live with a giving spirit. Some seasons call for more intentionality of giving, not just living in that spirit. For instance, giving care for an unhealthy loved one or providing shelter for needy family members.

Season of receiving

  • Last week someone reminded me that givers and doers are not good receivers. Givers and doers, how can you keep giving and doing if you never go through seasons of receiving? Here’s a key word: balance.

Know your season. Have intention to get the most out of your season. 

Know your season. Balance rest and doing, giving and receiving.