But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23, ESV)
Through a wonderful way with words and verse and memorable illustrations, children’s author, Dr. Seuss has given generations of children stories that not only entertain but also teach important lessons. One such lesson is the importance of faithfulness, which is delivered in the words of his book, Horton Hatches the Egg.
Horton is an elephant who gets tricked into sitting on the egg of a bird named Mayzie while she takes what turns out to be a permanent vacation to Palm Beach. Now, Horton is an elephant who means what he says. He is 100% faithful. So, despite the fact that he endures many hardships such as sitting through wind, rain, snow, ridicule from friends, and even capture, Horton remains true to his word. Showing great faithfulness, he stays right there on the egg until it finally hatches.
Faithfulness is the seventh fruit of the Spirit. But what is faithfulness? What does it mean? Faithfulness means remaining loyal to someone or something despite the circumstance in which you may find yourself. In marriage, it means remaining faithful to your marriage and loyal to your spouse, in good times and in bad. When in comes to our relationship with God, it means staying true to our beliefs even when, like Horton, we are faced with hardships. It means being faithful to His Word and following His ways even in the face of persecution.
Faithfulness is not a one-time act. It is an ongoing process, an attitude that should be characteristic of the life of everyone who claims to have faith in God. God is faithful. Even when His people are not faithful to Him, He remains faithful to them. The faithlessness of His people does not nullify the faithfulness of God (Romans 3:3). God’s faithfulness, His steadfast love for all of us, is something that endures forever (Psalm 136). As believers, we are to strive to be like Jesus. Through His faithfulness to the Father (Hebrews 3:2), a faithfulness that endured suffering and even death, Jesus has given us an example of faithfulness to follow.
Faithfulness is important, but it does not come easy. We need to rely on the help of the Holy Spirit to allow faithfulness to fully develop in our lives. But Scripture tells us that those who remain faithful will be blessed (Proverbs 28:20). In Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton the elephant is rewarded for his faithfulness. When the egg finally hatches, what comes out of the egg is not just a bird but an elephant-bird and Horton and the baby are returned to the jungle where they live together happily. When we remain faithful, our faithfulness will also be rewarded by our Father in heaven (Matthew 25:21, 23).
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.