The Value of Ordinary Faithfulness

Faithfulness. That character quality that sounds boring and may only be mentioned if a more exciting one doesn’t describe you. Is that true? We probably know that it isn’t true and yet, if we were honest, that how many of us think about it. Why don’t we value faithfulness?

It’s Boring

We want novelty, adrenaline rush of something new. We don’t want the same old thing. While faithfulness has never been easy, in a culture that defines happiness by new and different, faithfulness isn’t even attractive. Until of course someone isn’t faithful to us!

Running from one shiny thing to the next really isn’t hard. And one reason we keep running is because that last new thing didn’t satisfy. We tell ourselves that we don’t want to settle for “steady, reliable” because it’s boring while we clamor after anything new. We think the variety will satisfy us and bring us joy, but it doesn’t.

Have you ever, even once, stuck with something hard, showed a degree of faithfulness, and accomplished it? The satisfaction from that is far greater than the fleeting shallow joy of novelty.

The world now tells us that sex outside of marriage – outside of faithfulness – is better and more exciting. And many are buying that. But the fall out tells us otherwise. And having now been married 29 years, the joy and satisfaction of faithfulness is unmatched.

It’s Invisible

In a world of social media and clamoring for likes, faithfulness doesn’t draw attention.

Scott Hubbard (Faithfulness in Forgotten Places, Desiring God)

Forgotten places are those corners of the world where no one seems to be watching, where our efforts go unseen, unthanked.

Oswald Chambers writes,

We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the strain magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus.

It isn’t wrong that we desire for our efforts to be noticed. The question is – noticed by whom? Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you demonstrated for his name by serving the saints—and by continuing to serve them.

God sees and appreciates your labor when no one else does. True faithfulness requires a vertical focus.

It’s Counter Cultural

In the book “Ordinary” by Michael Horton he addresses the need, even among believers, to be “radical” to “think outside the box” to “do something big for God” to “be great.”

All of that against the backdrop of the mediocrity of faithfulness.

And from a worldly perspective, that makes a lot of sense. But not in God’s upside down kingdom.

Listen to this quote from his book: “Caring for a homeless kid is a lot more thrilling to me than listening well to the people in my home. Giving away clothes and seeking out edgy Christian communities requires less of me than being kind to my husband on an average Wednesday morning or calling my mother back when I don’t feel like it.” Ouch – and so true!

He also addresses the charge of mediocrity in what he calls “ordinary.” According to Horton, “Excellence is going over and beyond the call of duty. But to what end? More than anything else, excellence demands a worthy object and a worthy goal…Biblically defined, true excellence has others in mind – first God, and then our neighbor.”

It’s actually the disdain for ordinary faithfulness that leads to mediocrity. When I understand the importance of long term faithfulness and with loving God and others in mind, I will go above and beyond in my faithfulness. In order to best love those around me. And THAT is supernatural!

For these reasons and so many more – it’s always been rare. Proverbs 20:6 Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?

Your Example

Before we can grow in our faithfulness, we’ll need to rejoice in, meditate on God’s faithfulness.

Jon Bloom (Devote Yourself to Faithfulness, Desiring God) All of reality, not to mention your eternal future, literally depends on God being true to His word.

I don’t think of God’s faithfulness as boring or inconsequential. It’s beautiful and life giving. God’s faithfulness gives me a confidence and security that allows me to flourish. My faithfulness allows others to flourish as well.

I submit to you that someone who has been faithful for an entire life and finishes strong shows the supernatural power of God in a unique way. Years of trusting God no matter the circumstance, years of displaying His character to those around him, THAT is supernatural and powerful!

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

Janet Aucoin
Janet is the wife of Pastor Brent Aucoin.. She serves as the Director of Women’s Ministries, speaks at conferences and retreats, and is the host of the Joyful Journey Podcast helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy.