I heard a guy at a baseball game last weekend complaining about an umpire. He said quite loudly to the man in blue, “You’re worse than a broke clock! Even it is right two times a day.”
If you can overlook the poor grammar and somewhat disrespectful attitude, you get the point. Even a “broke clock” is right sometimes, unless of course that clock is digital. But who wants to quibble about details when you’re yelling at an umpire.
Still, I’m not sure if our standard of excellence and consistency should be an instrument that is right just two minutes out of 1,440 in a day. A clock’s purpose is to tell time, which is always on the move, and when the hands of that clock don’t move, time doesn’t stand still just because the clock is not doing its job. What you have is a clock that is failing at what it is supposed to do.
Ultimately, what we want from a clock is consistency, just as we want the same from so many other things in life. I don’t want a refrigerator that runs five days a week, or a car that starts up half of the time, or a bank that occasionally keeps up with my money. I expect those things to do what they do with consistency. With faithfulness, even.
“Who can find a faithful man?” Proverbs 20:6 asks, implying that it is truly a difficult task. But the Bible speaks much about the virtue of faithfulness–about following through on our commitments, about doing what we say we are going to do, about being diligent and loyal and dependable.
Likewise, the Scripture addresses the issue of those who are not dependable. “Like a broken tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.” (Prov. 25:19) In other words, counting on someone who is unfaithful is a real pain, not unlike a toothache or a bad foot.
Whether in your job, at home with your family, or in the ministries you serve in the church, there’s hardly a more important and much-need character trait than faithfulness. Others may be smarter, more talented or skilled, or more winsome in personality, but when you get down to it faithfulness and dependability are always a choice. And the truth is, we all want someone with integrity that we can trust, instead of someone we can’t count on who is a pain.
The good news for us is that we have as our model a faithful God, who by His very nature cannot be unfaithful, because “He cannot disown Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13) He is faithful to love, He is faithful to save, He is faithful to forgive.
So, don’t be like a “broke clock,” or a broken foot, or even a bad umpire for that matter. Seek to reflect the character of the One who has been faithful to you as you serve Him in whatever you do this week. I am so grateful for those of you who are so very faithful as you serve the Lord in and through our church body, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.