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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Power Ponies”

Obviously, this episode is riddled with a lot of superhero parodies and knockoffs. The point at the end, however, was to draw attention to one true act of heroism: dependability. The girls were able to depend on Spike; knowing he would always do whatever it took to come through for them. And even when caught by a supervillain, this episode was no exception.

One of the lessons I wish I had learned earlier in life is the importance of being trustworthy and reliable. Oh, obviously my parents, like most parents, impressed on me the importance of being honest and truthful, but I never really appreciated the value of being a person of one’s word until I got older. That’s probably the case for most people, which is why it’s a tragedy as it’s hard to get that reputation once you’ve gotten old enough.

I’ve come to realize one of the most valuable things that money can’t buy is knowing someone who is totally reliable. There is no price tag or substitute for such a thing, and there’s few things in the world more valuable than someone you can ask something of or count on to do something and you know, 100%, without a doubt, that person will say the truth or get it done without fail. As we get older, one of the reasons we become callous, disinterested, and apathetic compared to our youth is we stop believing in a lot of things. Usually this is the end result of having trusted someone or something only to have that trust violated, until we reach the point where we learn “never to trust anyone further that we can throw them”, or “if you want something done, you have to do it yourself”. There are precious few people in this world I would trust with my true self, and I’ll go ahead and say there are some things I admit only to God. But to have someone who you know will come through for you no matter what…such a thing is overwhelmingly precious beyond measure.

If one has a friend or loved one who is such a person, I’d say to always treat that individual well; they’re worth more than anything you own. And I believe perhaps the greatest measure of worth we can add to ourselves, whether in the Christian community or the secular world, is to be individuals of our word and known as dependable and reliable.

The sad part about this is that a reputation is something that takes a lifetime to build and can be destroyed in an instant. Once we’ve proven to be unfaithful in one thing, no matter how small or minor, it’s unlikely some people, even most, will ever look at us quite the same way again. Trust, once violated, is a very hard thing to regain. And it would only take another violation to potentially render it impossible to rebuild. Being faithful and dependable requires a steady commitment and sometimes years of work and responsibility. I won’t say it’s impossible to rebuild once broken, but it’s definitely not easy. As Lord Jesus said in Luke 16:10, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” The only way to attain greater trust is to prove ourselves faithful and reliable in smaller things. And to get trust in those, we need to prove ourselves in even smaller things…and so on and so forth until we reach something that an individual is willing to entrust us with. While Jesus was speaking at least in part about the Kingdom of God, I believe He was also speaking about a general principle for interactions with everyone. It’s definitely a hard battle, with each “victory” maybe only earning a little more trust but each “loss” possibly making us start over.

The biggest example of the hardship of trust is no more evident than between humanity(us) and God. God is always faithful and true. “For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.” (Psalm 33:4) “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.” (1 Kings 8:56) “If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13) The Bible is filled with examples of God’s faithfulness and reliability…but it is also filled with examples of people doubting both. Even if we profess God is faithful and reliable in Church, the truth is we don’t honestly believe that until we put it into practice. And that’s something that requires us to take a great deal of risk, and usually many years of “building up” to trusting God in progressively greater things.

And if God, who is perfectly faithful, has such a hard time earning trust, then how much more should we?

My urge for today is to always think hard about what you promise and to work hard to fulfill what you promise, for a good reputation is a valuable thing but must be earned through our own investments and hard work. And when it comes to our children and those we should leave an impression on, let us strive to teach them the importance of being a person of their word and strong character. Most would agree that’s always in short supply.

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you that you are the God of Faithfulness, and that we can always depend upon you to answer us in time of need. Thank you for the multitude of promises you have made to us in your Word that you have fulfilled and will fulfill. Help us to always be faithful to others are you are faithful, so that we will bring greater glory to your name and the Kingdom of God. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”