There’s a definition of faithfulness I absolutely reject:
It’s the idea that a faithful man or woman is that Christian who has sinned a little less, hasn’t embarrassed Jesus as much, and has generally measured up a little more to churchy standards of “faithfulness” than others by giving more money, coming to more meetings, and looking good on Sundays.
Two Problems with That:
I have two problems with that concept of faithfulness:
1) I suspect that the self-proclaimed faithful Christian has a secret life. Really, I don’t suspect it, I know it. There are no together people. And the least together people I’ve ever met are the ones churchianity assumes have it together the most.
2) The truly faithful Christians I have met in life are those who are acutely aware of their failures, their shortcoming, their sin, and their weakness and have learned to cling to Jesus.
One of my favorite writers, Brennan Manning, says this about faithfulness:
“Faithfulness requires the courage to risk everything on Jesus, the willingness to keep growing, the readiness to risk failure throughout our lives. [When we risk] everything on Jesus…the gospel says we can’t lose, because we have nothing to lose.”
I think that had a lot to do with the success of the Jesus Movement. We came from the streets, from the mess of our lives, we had nothing to lose…and Jesus had everything to give.
Question: Does that smug definition of faithfulness bother you as much as it does me?