Is being faithful relevant today?
Wherever we look, being faithful to a trust or a vow is seldom to be found. As leaders we have, at least ostensibly, key responsibilities to those we both lead and serve. So, is being faithful still necessary? Possible? Does anybody care?
What IS Faithful?
There are at least three components of “faithful”. One is trust, another is loyalty, and a third is “faithful to the facts”, in other words, a “truth teller.” What came to mind when you saw the title of this blog? Politicians, lawyers, business people? Most likely the first thought, at least mine was, to go to the opposite examples of ‘Faithful”, particularly the “truth teller” meaning. People like Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and the list goes on came to my mind. Why is that we go to the opposites rather than examples of the best in category?
Unfortunately, bad news sells, and good news doesn’t. We are so bombarded with unfaithful that it almost seems hard to focus on “faithful”.
A Biblical Example
In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks about the nature of true leadership. His most poignant observation is, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful”. Every leader is to be faithful
Who is it that has been given a trust?
For sure it is those of us with the responsibility to lead in any capacity.
Leadership suggests that there are followers, and those followers are asked to put their trust in you as their leader. This is true whether we are talking about the coffee business in Laos, the local church or civic organization, a non-profit organization or a for profit business. Oh, and might I include government at all levels. And finally, the family!
Two Perspectives of Faithful
You can approach the “faithful” issue from at least two perspectives. One if the positive benefits of being faithful. The other approach is to understand the downside of not being faithful.
I think I’d rather focus on the positive benefits. As we begin a new year with the opportunity for reflection behind us and the new opportunities in front of us, being faithful as a leader should go right next to, or maybe in front of the New Year’s resolutions. Yes, even the one about working out and losing weight. For sure it is applicable there following through to that loss of a 20-pound commitment.
Are You Faithful?
As Christians, and as leaders who are Christian, we bear multiple responsibilities. An early mentor asked me, “Are you a faithful person”? I was a little confused, not understanding exactly what he meant. I answered, “I want to be a man of faith”. He smiled and said, “that is not exactly what I asked”. He then proceeded to outline in simple terms that I could understand and retain, what he did mean.
He pointed out that the results of not being trust worthy, not being loyal, and not being a man of your word. He shared some of the examples in his life where he had fallen short, and the pain that it caused him, and those with whom he associated.
I reflected on, even in my 30’s, the family pain that I saw all around me even then because of “unfaithfulness”. Over the decades that followed, I’ve experienced the pain I’ve caused myself and others when I did not put “faithfulness” first, and the greater joy I found when I did.
A Call to Be Faithful
Perhaps you have similar stories. As leaders we are charged with responsibility to those we lead to be faithful.
- To be loyal to organizations and to follow God’s principles as we manage what is being entrusted to us.
- To act in a trustworthy manner with the lives and assets entrusted to us.
- To communicate clearly the truths of our vision, our problems, and our solutions.
Each of those can be painful in their own way, yet we are held to a standard of “faithfulness”.
I would be remiss if I did not refer you to a unique perspective that holds faithfulness to God at the root of its message. That perspective can be understood and embraced by reading the eBook, Live with Meaning.
And yes, I wrote the book. Let me know what you think….!
None of what I’ve written in this blog is new to any reader. It certainly is not new to me. Yet, how easily, in the midst of challenge, opportunity, or trial we are tempted, and often do, fall short of the mark.
A challenge for each of us as we face this new year is to follow Paul’s admonition with our mind, heart and hands as a leader……be found faithful.
Come along as we journey together with Trusted Advice Along the Way.