Archive for December 13th, 2007
Faithful! The word sounds antiquated, as if it is a word used to speak of an extinct species or practice. Faithfulness is not a value. All one has to do is look at the recent actions of football coaches and the lame, misleading, and downright deceitful language they have used. And yet, they know if they are faithful, those for whom the coach could just as easily turn around and fire them after one down year. Or worse, look at the behavior of well known couples, who talk about the righteousness of certain causes yet cannot commit and remain faithful to a person they call “the love of my life.” Or worse still, look at highly noticeable parents who abandon their kids for the party life or who hide their abuse and murder of their own children.
Faithful! This is one of the words used to describe the character of God and thus a trait he expects in us. Yet Malachi 2, our reading for today, screams with the loud anguished lament over the unfaithfulness of the LORD Almighty’s children. The religious leaders are unfaithful in their roles as God’s messengers. The people of God are unfaithful in their character — their behavior defies the claim that they are associated with the LORD God. Husbands are unfaithful to their wives. Judges are unfaithful in their court proceedings. Unfaithfulness is the spirit of the age.
And so comes the challenge for us — and for me. Will I be faithful even though others are not? Will I be a person of integrity when it tilts the playing field in the wrong direction for me? Or will I play by the rules of the age and “do to others before they can do it to me”?
//Inspiration: Malachi 2:15
Has not the LORD made the two of you one? You belong to him in body and spirit. And why has he made you one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So be on your guard and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.
//Incarnation: My take on this verse in my life
There is a simple, straight forward message to me in today’s message: if I want my children to be godly, I’ve got to be faithful to their mother, my wife. That is more than just sexual faithfulness, although that is clearly in view. But, it also means faithful with my heart, my time, my affections, my respect, and my tenderness. Of course, my children aren’t the only reason for me to be faithful. It is the right thing to do. It is the godly thing to be. And God is calling me to reflect his character in my role as husband and father; he wants me to be a man of faithfulness — especially when it is not valued in culture.
O precious and holy Father, mold my spirit and work in my heart so that not only may I be faithful in words and deeds, but also in heart and spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.