Applying the Character Quality of Dependability

Dependability vs. Inconsistency

3 min

Dependability is purposing in our hearts to do the will of God, whatever the cost.

A dependable person is defined in Scripture as one who is faithful. The Greek word for faithful is pistos and means “trustworthy, reliable, faithful.” Paul was instructed to teach the Gospel to faithful men who would be able to teach others.

The Hebrew word for faithful is aman. It means “to build up or support, to foster as a parent or nurse, to stand firm.”

A dependable person is defined in Scripture as one who is faithful.

The Importance of Dependability

Every believer should want this quality to be evident in his life. It is one quality Jesus will use to evaluate our work for Him: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

It is also one quality that is required for God to entrust resources to us and the quality that will win a crown for eternity: “It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (I Corinthians 4:2). “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

Characteristics of Dependability

  • A dependable believer will be in harmony with the heart and mind of God. “I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind” (I Samuel 2:35). “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9). “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4).
  • A dependable Christian has a great reverence for God. “I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many” (Nehemiah 7:2).
  • A dependable person is faithful in little things as well as big things. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10).
  • A dependable person has a heart attitude of faithfulness. “[Thou] foundest his [Abraham’s] heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him …” (Nehemiah 9:8).
  • A dependable person keeps confidential information private. “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter” (Proverbs 11:13).
  • A dependable person communicates energy and health. “A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health” (Proverbs 13:17).
  • A dependable person is truthful in all that he says. “A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies” (Proverbs 14:5).
  • A dependable person will not tell people how good he is. “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6).
  • A dependable person encourages those whom he serves. “As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters” (Proverbs 25:13).

The Motivation for Dependability

Dependability includes not failing the people who are counting on us. There are several factors that should motivate us to such dependability. The first and greatest motivation should be realizing that what we do to benefit others, we are actually doing for the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus explained this by saying, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40)

The Source of Power for Dependability

Even though God and others expect us to be dependable, God knows that the ability to demonstrate such a quality does not reside within us—our strength must come from Him. It is through His faithfulness to us that we can be faithful to others. But how do we “tap in” to His faithfulness?

Paul explains the process in his letters to the first-century Church. He discovered that the power of Christ is available only to those who acknowledge their weakness before Him. The first expression of weakness is crying out to Him for salvation. Next, it is crying out to Him in daily dependence upon Him. Paul learned how to translate trials and tribulations into reminders of his own weakness and Christ’s sufficiency.

These reminders were so important to Paul that he gloried in them by thanking God for them and seeing potential benefits in and through them. Paul was dependable to the end of his ministry and explained the secret to his faithfulness. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Corinthians 12:10).

Personal Evaluation

  • When you give your word to do something, can others always count on you to do it, even if it is more difficult than you expected?
  • If you experience unexpected difficulties, do you use them as excuses for not finishing a task?
  • Do you picture the things you do for others as actually serving Jesus Christ?
  • Do you pay your bills promptly and make the wisest use of the resources God has entrusted to you?
  • Do you graciously but firmly decline invitations that will distract you from fulfilling your responsibilities?
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