“But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard your from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
This is the season of New Year’s resolutions which often are as quickly broken as made. Who among us has not in past years resolved to lose weight, quit bad habits, form good ones, and just generally do better in our lives, only to find all goals abandoned within a few days or at most weeks? Resolutions consequently have become a trite joke, something not to be taken seriously. Few expect themselves or others to keep them.
Unfortunately this lack of resolve often translates to other, even more important, aspects of our lives. We can easily approach our jobs, our relationships, and even our faith with the same take-it-or-leave-it mentality. Yes we mean to do something, or say we will do something, but other things intervene, the former obligation seems less important, and we just fail to follow through. It seems that everyone does it; it is just the way it is.
Christians understand that the Bible requires us to be “faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2) and “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). But what does it really mean to be faithful? Is this speaking of just attendance of the assemblies of the church? Is it a commitment to certain specific doctrinal beliefs? Or is there more?
In 2 Thessalonians 3:3 Paul reminds us of the standard of faithfulness. It is God himself. “The Lord is faithful.” If we want to know what it means to be faithful, that is where we should begin our study, by looking at the very nature and character of God. Paul goes on to say that God will establish us and guard us against evil. We can depend upon him absolutely.
God’s faithfulness is described throughout the Bible in terms of his honesty (Titus 1:2), his eternal and unchangeable nature (Revelation 1:8), and his perfect goodness and holiness (Deuteronomy 32:4). We know who God is. We know what God can do, what he has done, and what he will do. His promises are guaranteed. He is faithful.
As Christians we are exhorted to “[b]e perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). That is, we are to seek and attain as much as possible the eternal nature and characteristics of God. Those certainly include faithfulness. Jesus commanded, “Let your yes be yes, and your no, no” (Matthew 5:37). Let us keep our word, fulfill our promises, yes, and even try to make resolutions which we will seriously attempt to fulfill.