November 12
The ultimate test of character
Psalms 51
"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ..." (v.6)

We examine now the seventh fruit of the Spirit -- faithfulness or fidelity. Faithfulness (Greek: pistis) is the quality of reliability or trust-worthiness which makes a person someone on whom we can utterly rely and whose word we can utterly accept.
 
It has been said that the ultimate test of a person's character is: Are there any circumstances in which that person will lie? If so, then that person's character is blemished. I know a Christian worker who puts in hours of service and who would work his fingers to the bone for anyone in need but, sadly, he cannot always speak the truth. That basic falsity cancels out much of the value of his accomplishments.
 
In a Third World country, where the leaders of churches are obliged to declare their property on their tax returns, one church owned a valuable gold cross. So that they would not have to pay so much tax, they decided to devalue the cross on their tax return and place its value at only a fraction of its real worth. One day the cross was stolen and cut up into small pieces. When the pieces were eventually recovered by the police, the church leaders went to court to prove they belonged to them. The judge called for a valuation of the gold and when told it was of very high value, he judged that the cross did not belong to the church as the stolen cross was of much higher value than the one listed on the church's tax return. So the gold was confiscated by the police. Those church leaders lost not only a cross -- they lost their character.
 
Father, impress upon me that not only do You desire truth in my inner parts but You have designed my being to function on truth. Unless I live in the truth and by the truth, I violate the structure of my being. Help me, dear Lord. Amen.
 
For Further Study
1. What are we to put away?
2. What will be established forever?