As I look back at the past couple of weeks, I'm reminded of how important our character is, no matter who we are. I started reflecting on the Fruit of the Spirit, 9 aspects of the character a follower of Jesus should work on, because I believe that too many people who follow Jesus focus only on believing the right things instead of becoming the right person. With all the anger and hatred in the world, and our country, provinces and cities here in Canada are not immune, let's make sure we don't get complacent about the importance of character or thinking it could never happen here. We need to return to the focus on becoming people of character who are focused on blessing others instead of ourselves.
The character aspect today is faithfulness and faithfulness is always outward looking, being faithful to others or a set of beliefs. For a follower of Jesus it's about being faithful or true to him first, meaning we take seriously who Jesus has called us to be. For Jesus, character is founded on loving God and others and faithfulness is also founded on love and commitment to others. This love is not about feelings, but about how we treat others, about respecting others because they are people created in the image of God.
We learn faithfulness from watching others. As followers of Jesus, we learn faithfulness from God who never gives us on us and keeps coming after us. If we want to see more respect and love in our society, we need to be faithful to what we say we believe; that we are to love God with everything we are and love others. It's easy to justify violence against those filled with hate, but history is filled with how love and peace, how grace filled words and respect of others counted hate and anger and violence: Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Elisabeth Elliot, Mother Teresa are just a few who come to mind.
So who or what are you faithful to and how are you making your community a better place to be, a place of safety and blessing out of your faithfulness to being who Jesus has called you to be.