A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished. (NIV)
The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble. (NLV)
What does it mean to be faithful?
No, I really mean it. Stop and think for a minute about the word "faithful" and what it means to you. We'll wait for you . . .
I think that we can all agree that being faithful means a lot of things in the Bible. First, being faithful to God comes to mind. Then, being faithful to others --- both Christians and unsaved alike. Faithful to your word, to the promises you make, being dependable to do what you say you will . . . all of these are important meanings of the word.
What would the faithful Christian do? He or she would honor the commitments they make, pay their debts, and keep their word. It follows logically then, that the faithful Christian would not make excessive promises, would keep their debts small, and would be very careful to keep their word after telling someone they would get something done. Do you know many people like that?
It seems that this modern world compels many Christians to go into huge debt, and spread themselves way too thin, because of the many demands on their time. Then they can't make good on their promises.
But God promises that if we honor our word and be faithful, we will abound in blessings!
Many times as we Christians look sideways (instead of upwards toward our Father) at each other, we talk about others' faithfulness only in terms of how often they come to church services. How much more is bound up in that word!
A promise that we make to someone who is unsaved, or doesn't attend church, is so very important --- if we make a commitment to our employer, to a community service group, or to a sports or school event --- that is a testimony to our discipleship in Christ. If we can't follow through on our promise, we give Satan an edge, and encourage the unsaved to have a poor opinion of Christians.
The contrast that Solomon is making is that of the "get-rich-quick" person . . . he (or she) makes tons of promises that he has absolutely no intention of keeping. He wants to be all things to all people, and will try to do everything in his power to get you to do business with him. One wonders if the only reason that he comes to church is to do more "networking" and meet and greet potential customers/business partners!
Let's be conscientious about our promises; let's try to be faithful to God and to men, and let's try to be dependable. We can rely on God; others can then rely on us.
An old southern preacher and evangelist, Bob Jones Sr., once said, "The greatest ability is dependability." So true, Bob, so true!