The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. (Luke 16:10, New English Translation)
Some people I just know I can count on at any time—day, night, holidays, in the middle of a storm. They will drop whatever they are doing to come to my rescue if I have a need. (I have and they did.) I remember the friend who spent part of Christmas Eve unstopping my kitchen sink so I could prepare Christmas dinner. And the friend who rescued me when my car battery died several miles from home on a holiday. And there’s my bleary-eyed friend who willingly did a 4:00 AM airport run when I had an early morning flight.
Right now I can imagine your thoughts going to your own friend story. If you have a faithful friend in your life, treasure them. They are a rare find. Proverbs 20:6 says, “Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?” (NLT).
What do we mean when we talk about someone being faithful? What characteristics do they display that makes us think this? I would list things such as:
You may have other qualities you would include, but it would probably be similar. This is the kind of person we all desire in a spouse, a friend, a coworker, a boss. And these are the same qualities they desire to see in us.
A person demonstrates faithfulness in their relationships, responsibilities, and resources.
It crosses all aspects of life— home, church, work, everywhere we go—and affects everything we do. Luke 16:10 reminds us it’s not just about the big things we do; it covers the little things too. If you need someone to handle heavy responsibilities, look for the person who takes care of small details well. That same faithfulness will show up in the big things. The opposite is also true. Someone who ignores the little things will also be careless with big responsibilities.
As a child I may not have realized I was learning a lesson, but my parents taught me faithfulness. How? By living it out day by day in front of me. I heard them as they woke each morning and prayed together as they started their day. I noticed that they carefully put aside money for tithes and offerings and they paid their bills on time. I saw them reading the Bible each day. I knew they were faithful to each other in their marriage relationship. As a family, we faithfully attended every church service. No one said, “This is what faithfulness is all about,” but I absorbed it by observing their faithfulness in relationships, responsibilities, and resources.
The greatest example of faithfulness I can offer is the Lord. Every characteristic mentioned above applies to Him. Over and over, He has shown Himself faithful to me, His child. He has kept every promise. In response, I want to show myself faithful to Him. My desire is to hear Him say,
“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23, ESV).