Sitting down to write this is taking everything within me. I feel pushed and overwhelmed in this new year, but that’s not abnormal for me; I’m annually overwhelmed in January. We begin a descent at the beginning of November that leaves us on the runway, just coasting in life during those last two weeks of December. At the beginning of January, we take off, but I feel that I’m still sitting on the runway! Can anyone relate?

I find myself asking, out of all things that I could share in this space of black and white, what would be the most important, most helpful, most encouraging thing for 2022? What would I want to share with a close friend over coffee? What would I want someone to share with me? And I think it would be this…

Be faithful.

That’s it. Be faithful.

Don’t try to win the whole world in 2022; simply be faithful.

In these first weeks of January, we are inundated with dates to put on our calendars of all the places to be and things to do. Maybe we’ve made New Year’s Resolutions, goals to improve our health and homes, and we’re stressed about checking off those daily boxes. Goals are good, and they help us to move forward, but sometimes we set unrealistic goals and become overwhelmed and discouraged when we miss the mark.

As I  sat down a few weeks ago and thought about the new year’s approach, I caught myself cataloguing all the areas in my life that needed improvement and became a bit weary at the thought. I could feel the tension and anxiety rising in my heart and mind of how I will get it all done; how could I possibly attain all that I hoped for and knew that needed attention in 2022?

And that’s when those two words came to my mind: be faithful.

Peace immediately overcame my worried spirit as I took a breath and remembered that my job is to do simply that: be faithful.

In my walk with the Lord, be faithful.

In my health, be faithful.

In my marriage, be faithful.

In my parenting, be faithful.

In my work and ministries, be faithful.

In my friendships, be faithful.

In my spending, be faithful.

This may seem different based on each of our lives because your list may not look like mine; but it’s not so much about the what as it is the how.

When we are being faithful, it means that we are existing in a state of faithfulness, since “to be” is “to exist”. 

But what does it mean for one to be faithful? provides us with a decent definition, “the fact or quality of being true to one’s word or commitments, as to what one has pledged to do, professes to believe, etc”.

In Galatians 5:22, we find “faithfulness” in the list of the fruits of the Spirit. This means that being faithful is a fruit that shows that we belong to Christ and is only manifested by the Holy Spirit working in our lives. 

The same word for “faith” above is found throughout the Gospels of those who came to Christ needing healing. For example, it’s found in the “faith” of the Centurion in Matthew 8:10; it’s found in Matthew 9, when the people brought Jesus a paralytic; and maybe one of my very favorites, it’s found in Matthew 9 again, when the woman with the bleeding reaches out and touches the hem of His garment, and immediately she is healed. 

Another usage of the word “faith” is found in 1 Corinthians 4, but it’s slightly different; it’s an adjective from the noun above. Verse 2, “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” The word here is actually from where we get the word “believer”. When we are “believers” in Christ, we are those who trust in the promises of God, who believe that Jesus is who He says He is, and we follow Him. It’s the same word that the master uses to say in Matthew 25, in the parable of the talents, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” It’s the same word that describes the first Gentile believer, Lydia, after her baptism in Acts 16. It’s used in Revelation when Jesus tells the church in Smyrna to “be faithful unto death” and as the description of those who are with Jesus as He defeats evil in chapter 17, “and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” 

Most importantly, it’s used to describe the Lord throughout the Bible. The Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) uses this same word in Deuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,”.

In the New Testament you read this same word in 1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,”; in 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it,”; and, in Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

I took us on a very brief word study to prove a point: faithfulness is an attribute of God that He gives us through His Spirit to make His Name known here through our lives on earth. It’s a fruit that witnesses His presence in our lives. 

The resolutions that non-believers make can only be centered on self; but the goals and resolutions that we, as believers, make are to be made in order to reflect Christ. It’s not about me or my successes in life; it’s about His work in and through my life for His own glory!

But what exactly does this mean?

To sum it up, faithfulness means to believe God, to trust Him, to follow Him in EVERY area of your life. It means to open your hand and place your whole life in His Hand, each and every day. It means that this is your character, how you walk and talk, how you treat others, and how you view your responsibilities. Being faithful means knowing WHO holds every detail of your life and daily looking to Him for strength, wisdom, endurance, and peace. It means being in His Word so that you can know Him more. It short, it means,

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

Listen, He knows that we won’t be perfect, but with our humble eyes set on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), we can run with endurance and glorify His Name in every area of our lives!

So, do me a favor. Get that list of resolutions or goals out, and  beside each of them, write in the biggest, fattest permanent marker you can find: BE FAITHFUL.

Grace, peace, and faithfulness to each of you in 2022 and beyond!