Resolve to work on faithfulness in 2021

Resolve to work on faithfulness in 2021

Are you the kind of person who makes New Year’s Resolutions? Whether you are or not, I am sure that you are a little more reflective this time of year. When we have a little more time than usual, we do tend to think about how we were in the past year and what might be different in the next one.

As you do this, let me give you a suggestion. If there is one thing that all of us could benefit from, it is to work on our faithfulness.

I know, that might not be at the top of your list. You probably have something like getting fitter or saving money or spending more time with your kids. They are all worthy goals, and I pray that you do improve in all of those areas. But if you are a Christian, you should be aiming to grow in godliness and not only the things of this life (as in 1 Timothy 4:6-10). Think about how you are going in following Jesus. Over time, we want to strive for a life that honours God in all that we do.

One area that I get frustrated with at myself and others is faithfulness. We love to sing about the faithfulness of God. Isn’t it wonderful that God keeps his promises? Even things promised centuries beforehand always come about. God doesn’t change like shifting shadows; his character is reliable, and he does what he says he does.

All of us struggle with being faithful because we are sinful people. We sometimes break promises. We sometimes forget about appointments. This is an area we can improve on, and this improvement will both benefit our lives and help us stand out from the broader culture.

I like being organised and have worked hard on growing in this area in the past few years. I use a to-do list so I don’t forget to do something I have promised someone; if I say I will do it, I want to do it. I strive to be early to every appointment and reliable as much as possible.

Like so much of life and godliness, improvement in this area is all about paying attention to the simple things and doing them consistently. It is not about the grand gesture or incredible feat done for God occasionally; it is the everyday faithfulness that builds character over time. Here are some small things that will change your life:

  • Reply to emails and phone calls. Every time. Even with a short thank you or acknowledgement. It is email, so it doesn’t need to be replied to in ten minutes, but it should be responded to in a reasonable time frame. If you show common courtesy and faithfulness in email, you will stand out in a world of unreliability.
  • Make plans and do them. Keep that promise to play with your children after work. Buy that item for your wife. Be on time for dinner with your parents. Over time, this builds up character, and people will notice.
  • Be faithful in your church involvement. Don’t be that person who comes when there is no better offer, the one who the elders of your church never quite know if you will be there or not. Don’t be the occasional Bible study attender or the person who puts their name on the roster then doesn’t turn up or get someone else to fill in. Reliability in service is a great indication of love to God and others.

I do pray that you manage to improve on your fitness and diet and family and whatever else you are working on. Work on faithfulness as well. It will help other areas of your life, and you will be a child of your Father in Heaven.