Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Who is Faithful and Dependable Today?

Meditation for the week of October 16, 2011

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15)
Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?
(Proverbs 20:6)

A righteous person keeps his promises to the extent that he can.   In Psalm 15, the one that God commends is the one who speaks the truth in his heart.  He makes promises and keeps them even when keeping the promises turns out to be costly.

There was a day when a man’s word was binding.  A handshake would seal a contract.  Today, not so much.  People break promises without realizing that their own character is at stake.  Some of us have different Scriptural views on divorce and remarriage, but most of us who are married made a promise to stay married and to love our spouses for life.  When people get divorced, at least one of the partners breaks that promise, and that is a reflection on their character.  However, the marriage vows are taken very casually today and breaking them seems to be almost as common as keeping them. 

When people are hired for a job, normally there is an implied assumption that unless that person cannot do the job for which they were hired or unless the company falls on financial hardship, that the job is something the worker can depend upon to feed his family.  However, today some companies hire people, move them across the country, and let them go before they have even taken advantage of their skills. This may not be the norm, but I know it does happen.   Workers often cannot depend on the promises of businesses.  Businesses often complain that they cannot depend upon the industry and promises of workers.  We who are elderly cannot depend on the promises that our own government made to us with regard to our social security and medical benefits that we have paid for over the years.  Some would argue that the promises should never have been made.  However, they were made and because of that we should be able to depend on those promises.  Our soldiers who have faithfully defended our country often cannot get the medical benefits that they deserve and were promised. By and large today we live in a culture where promises are made to be broken or at least modified.  We see this in personal relationships, in business relationships and in our government.  

My father used to say that it takes 20 years to build a reputation and twenty minutes to destroy it.  I think he was wrong about how long it takes to destroy it.  I think our reputations are destroyed the moment we break a promise that it was in our power to perform.  Everyone knows that as humans we make promises that we fully intend to keep and then, for one reason or another, it is not in our power to keep the promise.  This can be particularly true in our volatile business environment.  But when we don’t keep a promise that we could keep because it is going to cost us money, that destroys trust.  Trust is the basis of any relationship.  Trust that is destroyed can never be fully regained.

Paul, the apostle, had a problem in that sometimes people wrote letters and attributed them to him.  That is why in 1 Timothy 1:15, he says that this is a faithful or dependable saying that all should accept.  He not only wrote the message, but the message has a promise in that he did not make but which he knew to be dependable.  The Lord promised salvation in the old testament.  Even though that salvation was costly, the Lord did not shrink back from fulfilling the old testament promises.  God not only makes promises, He always has the power to perform them.  And he always does perform them.  We don’t always know when He will fulfill His promise, but we do know that He will fulfill them.  It has been over 2000 years since he left us with the promise that he would come again and some think He never will fulfill that promise.  But He will.  And He will fulfill the promise that whoever believes  or trusts Him will be saved. 

We can’t always depend on human beings even when they are well-meaning.  And we certainly cannot depend on people who are evil and not well-meaning with a desire to “get ahead” at any cost.  But we can depend upon God and the promises He has made. 

Bruce Collins

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