Character Trait No. 16
Definition: Being worthy of trust by doing what I said I would do even if it means self-denial.
“O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge.” (I Tim.6:20)
David once wrote that “...he who swears to his own hurt ..will never be shaken.” (Ps.15:4) The phrase, “swearing to one’s own hurt”, is quite a picture. It means getting done what we said that we’d do, no matter what. Anyone can be dependable when it’s easy to be dependable! Dependability becomes a shining virtue when it’s revealed under adversity. For most people, their “dependability” ... depends on the circumstances. You can count on them all right – to be “Mr. Invisible” whenever any serious difficulties arise. “Dependable” for them means it all depends on how hard it will be for them to do what they said they’d do. Backache, toothache, headache, tummy ache, too hot or too cold or “just tired” – all mean a sudden change of plans for Mr. Joe Undependable. Here are some of his favorite expressions (excuses):
“I would’ve done it, but...”
“I’ll have to take a ‘rain check’ this time. IOU one, buddy!”
He becomes a professional excuse maker.
Knowledge does not equal performance! Good intentions must be translated into action. Having Christ living within must make a lasting difference in how we actually behave in every facet of our life. Christianity is not for armchair, ivory tower theoreticians, but for workers with sleeves rolled up, who do the will of the Father. Talk is cheap! Being dependable isn’t quick and easy, or cheap. It cost Jesus His life. It will often take deep pockets and long hours to keep our word. It’s interesting how often people will spend whatever it takes to get married, build their own house or acquire a car for themselves, or even erect their own church facilities, but often skip an assembly, or a bible study, or paying what they agreed to pay someone.
Evangelism is the biggest area in which God’s people need to be dependable. Our contract with Christ stipulates that we will obey Jesus in everything that He commands, if He will save us from hell. So he does His part by forgiving our heinous past, and more importantly, coming to dwell in our hearts by faith, all at our immersion into Christ. The question then is: Are we being dependable by keeping our part of the covenant? Are we keeping our sacred vow made at baptism, and fulfilling it even to our own hurt?
Jephthah was foolish in what he promised, but at least he kept his word. (Judges 11:34f) I wonder if we would honor our part of the salvation contract if it meant the death of our only beloved daughter?! Or maybe at least missing our favorite football team play in the semi-finals of the championship games? Does the term “breech of contract” ring a bell? It means that the contract can be declared null and void by a judge, because one or both parties failed to honor the agreement. Would you want to enter into a contract with someone who had no real intent to honor his part of the deal?
Desertion or dereliction of duty is not tolerated in any of the world’s armies. When a person is immersed into Christ, he is enrolled into a spiritual army. The new recruit is now equipped and expected to join his comrades in freeing souls by tearing them out of Satan’s vice-grip of sin, and bringing them into Christ’s freedom kingdom. “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house (God’s temple) lies desolate? (Hag. 1:4)
God is looking for dependable me, “who will be able (& willing) to teach others also.” (II Tim. 2:2) Here are a few questions for thought:
- Does your “dependability” all depend on how easy the conditions are in fulfilling your word?
- Do you “swear (promise) to your own hurt”, because you do what you said you’d do, even if it means self denial.?
- Is Christ’s church fulfilling her part of the contract of salvation by obeying Christ and fulfilling the Great Commission to evangelize all people? (Matt.28:16-20)
God, like the famous army recruiter, is “looking for a few good men” (and women). Be one. Be rugged, tough and not an egg-shell Christian, who is so delicate and easily broken. (When the going gets rough...they get going all right...they’re gone, nowhere to be seen!) You can take it – the heat, rain, hail, snow or whatever – and get out and make that appointment in time to teach God’s word to someone lost in sin. There is no other way to be perfected with the love of Christ, than to personally send and go with the gospel by investing in others salvation.
Go do whatever it takes to fulfill your promises – to your wife, children and neighbors. Let your “yes” really be “yes”. A man’s word is his bond. A man whose word is cheap is no real man at all. God will empower us to bear up under every hardship in order to honor Christ by being people of integrity. BE DEPENDABLE!
CALLING GOD’S NATION WITHIN THE NATIONS:
WE’RE NOT CALLED TO COPY THE NATIONS,
BUT GEARED UP FOR WAR, FOR BATTLESTATIONS!
FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT, WITH OUR VERY LIVES,
HARD FINISHERS WHO PERSEVERE IN EVERY KIND OF STRIFE.
FULLY EQUIPPED TO FACE THE ADVESARIAL FOE,
STANDING UPRIGHT WITH ALL SYSTEMS ON ‘GO’!