faithful ~ adj. 1. True or trustworthy in the performance of duty. 2. Worthy of belief or confidence; truthful: a faithful saying. 3. True in detail or accurate in description: a faithful copy. faithfulness n.
When I start one of these Carnivals I always turn to the dictionary to see what the word means. I usually have a pretty good handle on what the word means but it is always nice to check your work. After all I am trying to be, wait for it, faithful to what I write.
So what does it mean this faithfulness. Taking the definition as my cue, faithfulness the noun, means to have faith in something and then to believe it with confidence. I have said countless numbers of time, that to belong to a faith group means to believe what that groups believes. You cannot pick and choose what we like about a group where religion is concerned.
I am an Orthodox priest, and the Orthodox Church has positions on issues that they have held for centuries. The very fact of being orthodox is to have straight truth, the teaching that has not changed. We need to be faithful to the traditions of our particular tradition. The church is slow to change on purpose, because we do not want to change with every whim or cultural shift.
Faithfulness is not easy. We are placing our trust in something that is bigger than we are. We are placing our trust in something we have not seen, but yet we believe as Scripture tells us.
The first definition used above states that we must be trustworthy in the performance of our duty. The soldier standing watch, who obeys the lawful orders of those appointed over him/her is being faithful to their duty. The public servant/politician, who does their job the way it was intended to be done is accomplishing their duty faithfully. Those of us who belong to a certain religious tradition, and practice that faith as it is intended to be practiced are doing so faithfully.
Faithfulness, like Christianity, is not an easy task. We are being asked to do something that we are not used to doing in this age of modernity, trust. Trust in someone else other than ourselves and trust in something we cannot see, hear, touch, or taste.
The most important aspect of faithfulness is to be faithful to yourself. Be faithful to your word and your actions and if you are then people will have faith in you.