...following on from Andy's blog yesterday, one of the practices the link points to is that of faithfulness.
How can we be faithful to each other- truly faithful? How can we go beyond our polite lets-not-rock-the-boat loyalty which looks lovely but will never answer honestly the question "does my bum look big in this?" or "have I made the right decision?"
I would rather have a friend who helps me face my mistakes than a friend who assures me that everything I do is fine. But this kind of faithfulness comes at a price- it is painful and requires a large amount of time invested in each others lives. It involves being real with each other and allowing others to see the more unappetising sides of our life and character. Not things that come easily in our time-poor Christian culture where we often tend towards the superficial with one another.
Some people come to mind- in 2 Samuel 12, there is Nathan the prophet. David could have easily banished, ruined or even killed him for his boldness in pointing out David's rather gaping mistakes. It was a huge risk.
For another side of faithfulness, Ruth's words to Naomi(Ruth 1 v 16-7) are so inspiring to me, speaking of a deep kind of covenant relationship: "Don't ask me to leave you! Don't beg me not to follow you! Every place you go, I will go. Every place you live, I will live. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God. And where you die I will die."
Naomi was left alone and bereft- even changing her name to Bitter... Ruth- also mourning, but still with a life to live and a people to be with- gave up everything to move with Naomi to a foreign country and support her through her tragedy.
God, by your Spirit, make me more faithful in the relationships I have. Let me count the cost and be truly faithful.