The operational definition of dependability is “fulfilling what I consented to do even if it means unexpected sacrifice.” Dependable people do what they say they will do, even when it is difficult. Dependability comes from two Latin words: de meaning “down” or “from” and pendere, “to hang.” Imagine a mountain climber going up a steep rockface. If his foot slips, he would literally be hanging in the air! He is dependant upon a sturdy rope and the strong anchor secured to the mountain. In the same way, can others “hang” their trust on what you say you will do? Can they secure their plans on your word, confident that you will fulfill your commitments?
The opposite of dependability is inconsistency. What might happen if you had a loose tooth and you bit into a crisp apple? Or what if you were walking along and your foot suddenly gave way? You were expecting your tooth and foot to perform their normal functions. You were depending on them! However, their instability let you down. The same is true when someone is inconsistent—he lets others down. People are disappointed, projects aren’t completed, and trust is broken. “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint” (Proverbs 25:19). Do you honor your commitments consistently or only occasionally? If you are following through only for your own gain, you will likely compromise when you are no longer benefited. However, when you have God’s love for others and seek their benefit first, you will not want to disappoint them.
- Before making a commitment to someone, do I first make sure my schedule is open and confirm that my family is in agreement with the plan?
- Can my family count on me to consistently spend time with them, making special events a priority?
- Am I using my time wisely so that I am able to carry out what I told others I would do?
- Do I have to be reminded to do my share of the household responsibilities?
- Do I view unforeseen difficulties as opportunities to prove my commitment or as excuses to back out of my commitment?
- What invitations should I graciously decline so that I will not be distracted from fulfilling my duties?
- Is anyone waiting for me to keep a promise?
- If I am unexpectedly unable to keep an agreement, do I offer an acceptable alternative?
More About Dependability
God enables me to:
Fulfill my promises.
Clarify what is expected.
Get the job done.
Make amends when needed.
Keep confidences private.
Be careful what I promise.
Correct my mistakes.
Pull my share of the load.
Live by principle.
Dependability in Scripture
Obadiah Risks His Life to Deliver a Message
Revealed in Nature
Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum
View the Dependability booklet sample:
Free Resources for Dependability
Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!