th151 presentation

Just in case we're presenting today.

Fidelity is something we know from our everyday lives. We cannot separate it from faith. In fact, we call fidelity faithfulness. So we know what it means to be faithful to someone. Our fidelity is not about our faith in others, but about their faith in us, and faithfulness is keeping our promise to them and living up to their trust.

We also know what faithlessness is. Some people here might be from broken families. Some people here might have been betrayed by friends. We know what it's like to break a promise and to let someone down. That's sin. We know how it destroys things. We know how cheating on someone destroys our relationship with them, even if they never find out.

So we understand what Christian faith tells us about faithfulness, and we understand why we need to pray for strength. Many people pray that they are given the strength and the understanding to be more faithful to other people, so they can be better friends, better children, better people.

Fidelity is not being stubborn or thinking just one thing. The only thing constant in life is change, and part of being faithful is adapting to change, not forcing other people or yourself to stay the same. We make mistakes, and we should learn from them.

We might not be aware of these mistakes. For example, racism might not obvious to people who are racists. They think it's only natural. Fidelity means recognizing that we shouldn't just do what we've always done, but we should think about it carefully.

Very, very, very rarely, fidelity might even mean realizing that you've made the wrong commitment. For example, you might be committed to getting high grades, which is not a bad thing. But if you start cheating just to keep up your grades, something is wrong. That is why we need to periodically reexamine ourselves and our commitments.

That happens far less than another, more serious problem. Our problem is that we give up too quickly. People break up over the smallest things. People fight and separate for very selfish reasons. Fidelity requires strength. It requires will. That's why we pray for the strength to be better people - to be better sons and daughters, to be better friends.

The bottom line is that fidelity is faithfulness, so we cannot talk about fidelity without talking about faith. We're not just talking about our faith in others, but also of their faith in us. This is why you feel terrible when you backstab a friend or cheat on a spouse. You have betrayed their trust. You have broken your promises. Sin is like that. God has faith in us. He knows that we can be good people. When we sin, we betray that trust. That's why we pray for the strength to be faithful.