Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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January 8 – The Cost Of Faithfulness

“Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.”  Proverbs 25:19

Devotional Thought For The Day

I have not experienced “a foot out of joint.”  I’ve had other dislocations, but never a foot, thank God.  I suspect we’ve all seen things like what happened to Robert Griffin III in the playoff game Sunday, when his knee “slipped out” and down he went.  Of course, playing football demands even more of one’s joints, especially hips, knees, ankles, and feet.  I suspect that more of us have had experience with “a broken tooth,” or a tooth that has gone bad, perhaps the loss of a large filling repair.  Obviously functionality is lost, often accompanied by a large amount of pain and discomfort. This is being compared to our experience when we trust someone and that person proves to be “unfaithful” when they are most needed for support and help – “in time of trouble.”  I expect that many of us have also had this very unpleasant experience – when others fail us at the most inopportune time.

I suppose the first thing we think about when reading this proverb is how we might protect ourselves from others, those who are unfaithful, and how we might make sure that we never have to deal with the tumbling, disorienting effects that ensue when one of our supports fails us.  Unfortunately, this is simply not possible – “no man is an island,” we all have to depend upon others to a certain degree.  It is both impractical and unmanageable to have a full back-up plan in place for every possible exigency involving human failure.  Further, it is an aspect of love, of genuine relationship that we trust others, even when they have disappointed us and failed us.  We must understand that love requires such “vulnerability” – there is no way around it.  Remembering that “God is love,” recalling how we frequently “fail” Him, and that His love for us remains firm and constant, helps us to contemplate realistically our own frustrations and heartaches and disappointments in others.  We are to love as He has loved us, and that means unconditional forgiveness and continued “trust,” hoping all things, believing all things, and enduring all things.  Love is tough business!

More importantly, we might want to think about our own “faithfulness,” our loyalty and dependability toward others.  Again, this is a matter of toughness and ruggedness, to be willing to give our all, to lay our lives on the line [or perhaps other highly valuable aspects of our life and being] because others are counting on us, depending upon us.  Are we willing to sacrifice for others, perhaps even “self-sacrifice” for the good of others, rather than deserting and fleeing when threatened with personal loss in THEIR time of need?  Selfishness and self-preservation is such a strong impulse that the logic which accompanies such cowardice, weakness, and lack of faithfulness is compelling – convincing to the vast majority of people.  We’re more likely to get scolded and denounced for suffering loss than we are for “wisely” deserting our post and loyalty – at least with the majority of people.  But the reality is the same, that it remains deeply painful for those whom we prove unfaithful to – and that we have diminished what we are for what we have, what we can keep for ourselves, whether possessions, strength, health, or “honor” [in the eyes of those who are weak and cowardly].

Thankfully, we need never have questions about the faithfulness and dependability of God – His forgiveness, His gracious mercy, His love and His commitment to our good and welfare.  All we have to do, if ever we doubt, is look at what Christ suffered and endured for us, for our salvation and eternal life.  The Father suffered the same – as He exacted justice for the sins of the world upon His own beloved Son.  Such is His commitment and reliability toward our great good and blessedness.  The more we live in His wondrous love for us, the more compelling the logic for selflessness and sacrifice becomes to us, and the more we understand the importance of our faithfulness and dependability toward others – that this is part of love.  God grant such faithfulness and love to each of us, and that we be surrounded by others who prove reliable and faithful to us.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, thanks and praise be to You for Your faithful love toward us, for always being there for us, for sacrificing Your all for our good and blessedness.  Thank You also for being reliable even when all others have failed us, for being our sure and certain support and foundation no matter what befalls us.  Help us to be faithful, reliable, and genuinely loving to others, especially those whom You have placed in our care.  Give us courage to lose all for the sake of love.  Amen.