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May 12, 2010 / beidson

The Rhythm of Fidelity

I hate to spend money.  Mostly because I don’t always do it the right way.  And when I spend it on myself I feel especially guilty. But I think this has a lot more to do with desire than discounts.  There is a signature craving from God in our hearts, one that cries out for consistency.  That extra, unneeded shirt I bought makes me cringe because God has made me that way.

This is a problem we all wrestle with in a multitude of ways.  Advertisements can be annoyingly persuasive or repulsive because they alert us to our own discontent with what we already have, or they move us toward cynicism because we don’t believe their promises anymore.  They continually remind us that we are needy, and that we capitalize on that neediness.

My wife has a real struggle with food.  She wonders what is appropriate to eat and how much and how often.  Again, you can move toward obesity or anorexia, but at both extremes and in between there is a longing in my wife’s heart to know the proper use and pleasure of the foods God has given to us.

Why is the Winter a time of reflection, and Spring a time for starting over?  Why is a new day refreshingly hopeful?  Why is it that we stick to our favorite (fill in the blank) when countless other choices are available?

In all of these things, we crave fidelity.  We long for steadfastness.  We hunger for something permanent that is true, like a thread that runs through our lives, beginning before us and going on when we are dead and gone.  The sun rises and sets for this very reason.  And that’s why we love to see it day after day.

Fidelity has been displayed most gloriously through Jesus, God’s Son.  In a way, bad commercials are so lame because they aren’t like Jesus, and a balanced diet somehow seems right because it reflects self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit.  But it is more than “the right thing.”  It is the right thing, over and over again.  We build our lives around those things which we can depend on.

That extra shirt I bought is another reminder that I don’t always spend money the right way.  And as I’m driving away from the store I struggle with knowing if I will ever be the perfect spender/saver/giver.  This unrest is normal, as a sinner.  And it drives me back to Christ.  He is always faithful.  His fidelity is what I long for, and what we all want, even if we don’t recognize it.

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