A Question from a Son Part 2

Thank you – I appreciate your responding at all to my initial note, this is absolutely tremendous of you.  If I can learn to fish, I’m going after the ocean!

I’m no wordsmith, but I’ll do my best to make my vision plain – faithfulness in a few specs.

A) Doing what I say – not being a covenant (albeit small) breaker when I tell someone, “Yes, I’ll pray for you” or “them” or, “Yes I’ll be there” or “Yes, I’ll do that.”  I want to be one that when I say I’ll do something to G-d or anyone, I can be counted faithful to do it.  I don’t want to allow myself to NOT follow through and make excuses for myself on what I’ve agreed.  THIS is what started this whole thing.

B) Exercise the gift I was given.  Thought it was dead for awhile, found out it wasn’t so now I need to get busy.  I want to be faithful in using and growing in it to fulfill my destiny…progressing, not sitting still.

I want to progress to the point that if needed I’d be ready at a moment’s notice.  Instant in season and out.

Does this make sense?


Ok.  You have two different facets of faithfulness.  First is the character quality and second is a much broader concept called stewardship – being faithful to use the resources God gave you.

So, the bare bones of a growth study involves a few core concepts.

-See the concept in Scripture.

-See opportunities for the concept in the current culture.

-Develop structures that will cause you to form a deep habit of walking it out in the culture.

-Develop structures that will help you hone the skill.

Now each of those four has a thousand permutations, but it helps to see the skinny version first so you don’t get lost in the woods.

Let’s start with #1. 

Begin with your strength which is word studies.  See how many different Hebrew and Greek words are translated faithful or faithfulness.  Figure out a word picture for each one so they are vividly clear in your mind, in a modern cultural way.  

Then you will turn to the bios.  Make a list of the top 40 bios in Scripture.  These are the ones you can pull up from memory, without looking at the Book.  Forget the obscure kings and the 11th son of Benjamin.  

In the next 90 days, I would try to spend two days apiece on each one of those stories trying to pick them apart, looking at the difference FACES of faithfulness.  You see two above in your definition. 

What if faithfulness has 15 different incarnations?  Or 27?  No one is going to walk in full faithfulness, but a lot of people, even losers, will have a piece or two where they are faithful.  Look for those. 

At the end of 90 days, you should have a very vibrant list of the different faces of faithfulness and a name and story in Scripture that matches each one.

Why don’t you start there and then get back to me? 

Now a word of warning:  it is a challenge to balance design and character growth.  There are times we just have to do it, whatever it happens to be – laundry on Friday night.

However, most of the time, we want to flow with design.  So if you find that you absolutely come alive exploring and savoring the different faces of faithfulness in men and women in Scripture, then stay there for six months or a year.  Don’t ever try to impose a deadline on a place where the Spirit is flowing.  

On the other hand, if it is deader than dead, and you dread each block of time assigned to that, get back to me and we will use a different tool.


Oh I am SO in. You’ll hear from me in 90 days!

So a favor:  Would you mind if I renamed you “Sally,” sanitized this thread just a bit and used this e-mail in a blog to show other people how to begin?


Oh, I’d be delighted!


Thanks a million.


To be continued

Copyright January 2014 by Arthur Burk

From the Hub

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6 Responses to A Question from a Son Part 2

  1. Thank you Arthur and Sally for bringing us into the loop on this process. What a treasure to have this set of guidelines. What I especially appreciate is the differentiation between the faces of faithfulness, instead of seeing it as one big concept. And then to make it real life by looking at people in Scripture. Taking the abstract concept and giving it a name and a face is so important!

  2. Lillian says:

    Thanks ‘Sally’ for allowing this to be shared and thanks Arthur for sharing. Is this similar to the character project that you mention in the ‘Slavery to Sonship’ series?

  3. snoopsparky says:

    Thanks for the open window on your conversation. I just started a similar venture into “hope” after getting broadsided with a fairly large wave of hopelessness. I typically start with Hebrew and Greek and have never been disappointed with the raw data it produces; have been doing this for more than 25 years. The next step is to capture the picture that the original languages paint for me. That takes some prayer, meditation and simple listening for the King’s responses. The next step is letting the light of this living word penetrate to those areas that were vulnerable to the broadside. It should be interesting to see where the hole is in my armor on this one.
    This thread comes at a good time and I will be following with the idea of gleaning something. Hopefully I can share a nugget in the process that could be beneficial. Jim

  4. Dana says:

    OHHHH this is good!!!
    Sally, thank you for letting us evesdrop! 😉

  5. Jeanne says:

    These two posts are really, really good. After having a tremendous breakthrough in a 20 year-old problem, I was at a standstill as to where to go next. I realized when reading these two posts that I had too many ideas ‘on my plate’. Your discussion with ‘Sally’ helped me see why I was stuck. Now to see where I am to go from here. 🙂

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