Is your Car Reliable?

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    You are on your way to work and driving down the road. You are on time, but only have a few minutes to spare. You are in a section of the road that does not have a good shoulder. Your car sputters and stops. You put it in neutral and try without success to restart your car.

    We all know what it is like to deal with unreliable products. Whether it is our car, phone, dryer, or our tools we all at some point have experienced the disappointment of a product not performing at its expected potential. It can be quite troublesome at times and can leave one not trusting that the item will ever be reliable in the future. I have known people to trade cars because of one small breakdown that left them stranded one time...and I don’t blame them.

    We demand reliability in our modern world. We expect our cars to run flawlessly for 200,000 miles while only performing minor maintenance. We expect our phones to last for several years and the only maintenance we intend to do is to charge them each evening. We buy nearly the cheapest appliances available and still expect them to last for 10+ years.

    Employers demand reliability. Employers demand that their employees show up on time each and every time they are scheduled to work. It does not take many times being late and one will be looking for another job. It usually will only take one time of not showing up at all and one will instantly find themselves without a job. When it comes to our job, we understand that we must be reliable and on time each and every morning.

    Financial institutions demand reliability. When the mortgage, rent, insurance payment, or phone bill is due it is due. We know that a late payment will result in penalties and will eventually be harmful to our credit. Therefore we understand that we must reliably pay our bills.

    Reliability is important and most people consider themselves reliable. Each of these previous things has checks and balances to help keep people reliable. Each of the previous things come with immediate consequences if the conditions are not met reliably. How would we react if there were no immediate consequences? Would we still show up to work on time every day even if the boss didn’t seem to care? Would we always pay our bills on time if there was not going to be a late fee or negative impact on our credit?

    Reliability is directly related to honesty and truth. When we commit to being an employee, if we are honest and truthful we will also be reliable. Yet this goes much deeper than just our responsibility to our boss or financial responsibilities. How reliable are we when there are seemingly no immediate consequences at all? Do we meet our friends when we said we would? Do we carry out commitments we have made to our spouse? Do we carry out the trash when we said we would? Do we wash clothes when we said we would? Do we show up to help when we said we would? Do we fulfill our commitments even when there are seemingly no immediate negative consequences?

    Are we reliable to God? As Christians we make a commitment to doing right, to serving God, to being faithful to Him. Is Christianity one of those things that we will concentrate more on when life slows down? Does Christianity take a back seat because there are seemingly no immediate consequences? We are only as reliable as our least reliable moment...consequences or not. Let us strive to be honest. Let us strive to evaluate our commitments and only make commitments that we can and are willing to keep. Let us be honest, truthful, and reliable in all aspects of our lives.

    James 5:12b, “let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.”