This week we focus on the fruit of the Spirit called faithfulness. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of faithfulness is the time element. You don’t see faithfulness in a day. Unlike kindness, it is not experienced in one interaction. Faithfulness expresses itself over time. When you see dedication, loyalty and trustworthiness over a long period of time, you see faithfulness.
Consider the dedication of Olympic athletes. Gymnast Simon Biles has won 20 Olympic or World Championship medals. In 2016, she won three gold medals at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. But she didn’t just show up at the Olympics on a lark. Biles began training at age six. She trained 20 hours per week until high school, when she trained 32 hours per week. Before winning Olympic gold, Biles had trained over 10,000 hours.*
Or look at swimmer Michael Phelps. He started competitive swimming at age seven. He averaged four hours of training every day, including Sundays, birthdays and Christmas morning. According to his coach, Phelps didn’t miss a practice between the ages of 11 and 16.*
Their dedication helps us understand faithfulness, as well as the apostle John’s joy in 3 John 1:3 , “It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.”(NIV)
As God’s Spirit produces faithfulness in you, remember it is continually expressed one day at a time for a long time.
*Royan Kamyar, “What I learned: Over 50 Olympic athletes’ daily routines…” Owaves, March21, 2018, https://owaves.com/what-i-learned-from-researching-50-olympians/.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.