7 Ways God Will Evaluate Your Faithfulness

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Pastors and leaders, I’m going to give you a sneak peek at your final exam.  You’re going to stand before God one day and He’s going to evaluate your faithfulness.  He’s going to look at eight different aspects of your life to judge your faithfulness and you should be highly interested developing these areas of your life and leadership.

1. Do you possess the right values?

A faithful person knows what’s important in life and what isn’t important in life.  A faithful person knows how to invest his or her life.  A faithful person makes their life count.  A faithful person knows the significant apart from the trivial.

Proverbs 28:20 says, “A faithful man will be richly blessed but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”  This verse contrasts faithfulness with a desire to get rich quick.  He’s not talking about making money.  He’s saying that what we have to realize is there is more to life than just the accumulation of things.  The Bible says we’re to live like fish swimming upstream in a very materialistic world.  Faithfulness is proven by our refusal to buy into the system that says the almighty buck is the number one thing in life.  Faithfulness is often proven by choosing of a simplified lifestyle to allow more time for ministry.

2. Do you care for the interests of others?

The second way God is going to judge our faithfulness is our relationship to other people.  Did we care about the relationships of others and not just our own relationships?

Faithfulness swims against the stream of contemporary culture, which says, “What’s in it for me?  What are my needs, my ambitions, my desires, my goals, my hurts, my values, my profit, my benefit?”  But God says faithfulness is proven by our others-directedness and by giving our life away, by looking at others rather than concentrating on ourselves.

3. Do you live with integrity before an unbelieving world?

In other words, a mark of faithfulness is the kind of testimony you have with unbelievers.  The Bible teaches that a pastor is to be above reproach in the community and to have a good reputation, not with believers, but with unbelievers.  When God evaluates your faithfulness, He won’t be looking at your communication skills but He will be examining the way in which you walked before those who are outside the faith.

4. Do you keep your promises?

When God evaluates your faithfulness, He’s going to look at all the promises you made.  Proverbs 20:25 “It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later consider your vow.”  It’s easier to get into debt than to get out of debt – that’s making a promise to pay.  It’s easier to get into a relationship than out of a relationship.  It’s easier to fill up your schedule than it is to fulfill your schedule.  The Bible is saying that faithfulness is a matter of if you say it, you do it.  You keep your promises.  The number one cause of resentment is unfulfilled promises.

5. Do you develop your God-given gifts?

There’s a tremendous emphasis in the Bible on using the gifts and the talents God has given you. God has made an investment in your life and He expects a return on it. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each should use whatever spiritual gift he has received to serve others faithfully, administering God’s grace in its various forms.”  Notice it says if you don’t use your spiritual gift, people are getting cheated.  Faithfulness is based on what we do with what we have.

6. Do you obey God’s commands?

1 Samuel 2:35 god says “I will raise up a faithful priest to serve me and do whatever I tell him to do”  Circle “do whatever I tell him to do”.  God defines faithfulness as obedience to the commands of Christ.  We can be skilled leaders and communicators, but disobedience disqualifies us from being seen as faithful as God defines it. This is basic, but its essential.

7. Do you pass on what you learn?

The Bible talks a lot about the transferring process of multiplication.  You’re to give what you learn to faithful men and those faithful men are to give it to others, and so on.  None of us would be here today if there hadn’t been faithful men and women in the last 2000 years of the church. We’re leading today because some faithful men and women took time to write down the Scriptures, and others preserved the Scriptures, and others translated the Scriptures.  We’re here because of the testimony of faithful people.

If God teaches you a spiritual truth and you’re learning a spiritual truth, it’s your duty to pass it on to others.

How do I become faithful?  Galatians 5:22-23 says, “The fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness.”  It’s one of the nine fruits.  When the Holy Spirit lives in my life, I will demonstrate faithfulness.  How do you know when you’re filled with the Spirit?  What is the test?  Some kind of emotional experience?  Not necessarily.  You can have an emotional experience and not be filled with the Spirit.  What is the test?  The fruit is the test.  How do I demonstrate that I’m filled with the Spirit?  I demonstrate it when I’m faithful to the responsibilities that God has given me.

photo credit: stratoz


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Rick Warren About Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

  • Mwangala

    Here is another that would have made the list complete with eight. How well do we take care of the resources in our hand: stewardship. How do we take care of our bodies, do we over feed or starve in the name of being beautiful, finances, do we spend and spend just because it’s our money while other people starve just because we gave 300 dollars to charity. jobs, are faithful even when there in no supervision. The list of how to evaluate our faithfulness is endless.

  • Mwangala

    While I respect Rick for the amount of work he has done for the kingdom, I have an issue with this article. To say he is going to give us 8 things God is going to use to evaluate our faithfulness is being a little presumptuous. One why eight? Two, did Rick read the mind of God? I would rather he had said, here are eight things that we can use to evaluate out faithfulness to God. To say this is the final exam friends is to say this is going to determine who passes and who fails. That’s why people are up in arms that this looks like a salvation issue. We are using the words here to evaluate article, and that’s how it’s coming out. If you ask me Rick was in a hurry to get this out because, the article says eight ways, while it only has seven which is what the title at the URL says, 7-ways. Also he says faithfulness is one of the fruits of the spirit. Last time I checked the fruit of the spirit is only one with 9 parts. One things before you start tearing me apart. I don’t think Rick himself sees himself as flawless, and so he can make mistakes and that’s ok. So when people critic his work, that should be ok. In this way he also learn and should be glad that people are following his works. Even Paul was in constant scrutiny why not Rick, Oisteen, Meyer and the likes.

  • David Etim

    Thank you so much pastor Rick for this insightful teaching. It has really helped me and I have been teaching same during the Sunday School Session. We are still on it. Once again, thank you.

  • Ann Conrad

    The best thing that happened to me, was my friend bought Rick Warren’s book called What On Earth Am I Here For……… I have never read anything like it before. It is truly amazing!! The more I read the more I say to myself, that’s me that’s me.
    Blessings,
    Ann Conrad

  • P. Charlie

    It seems to me that some commentators are totally confused about what Faith means. Faith is not just believing in Jesus Christ. The devil himself believes in Jesus and is still the devil. Faith is also acting accordingly to that belief. And that is where the Gospel of Jesus comes. Please read Matthew 25, the book of James, the advise of St Paul in his letters to do what is good and avoid what is bad. Just read the Bible with a spirit of humility and obedience not that of convenience.
    This modern world seems to be way too hedonistic.

  • P. Charlie

    For those requesting references Please read The Gospel of Jesus Christ. You’ll find them in the Bible. They are the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

  • Derrick

    I think this is for all believers!

  • Rocky

    Thanks for your leadership and influence throughout the world!

  • Anjo

    We, my husband and I hold spirituality meetings each Wednesday and this is my week o bring the message and this perfect to bring to us because of the issues at hand. Thank you for the Word.

    Anjo

  • Larry Lakey

    I am honestly stunned at the way some of the comments here show a complete misreading of this article. This isn’t a doctrine of salvation. This is how we steward the ministry we’ve been given. This is how we hear “Well done!” one day. And it’s based on biblical wisdom, with some very explicit references provided.

  • Doug

    Pardon me, but a list of very helpful, very Biblical examples of “righteousness” that God desires for all His people and especially His leaders to demonstrate in a life of usefulness and service for Him…why is that even a question in someone’s mind? Do we find grace so liberating that it liberates us from a desire to please and serve God. Perhaps some need to reevaluate what it means to be a servant. Pastor Rick, thank you for sharing and allowing God to use you as a help to others!

  • http://brandonacox.com Brandon A. Cox

    Allow me to clarify something that should be obvious from the entire body of work that Pastor Rick has produced in his ministry. This article is a list of criteria that different characters in the Bible demonstrated. They are perhaps the bases on which God will judge ‘whether we were faithful or not’, not ‘whether we are saved or not.’

    This isn’t an article about the first big question of life – what did you do with Jesus? It’s an article about the second big question of life – what did you do with what God gave you. Obviously, Pastor Warren believes in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. What’s in question here is, whether as eternally saved and secure believers, we were faithful to live out our character or not.

  • Matthew Kennedy

    I think that many of you have miss-read what Rick Warren is saying here. There are no claims here that this is how one gains salvation, this isn’t a 7 point plan on how to get right with God, this is a suggestion on how we as committed believers and leaders of the people God has entrusted to us should act under grace.

    The Bible is clear in James 3:1 that those who are teachers will receive a stricter judgement. Now this judgement is not one based on salvation as that is already secured, but instead it is based on what we have done with the things God has given us (knowledge, power, wealth, gifts, talents, etc). This judgement is one conducted after the sheep and the goats are sorted, and it is to gauge your standing for ‘treasure in heaven’ (whatever that may be).

    I am unsure why people would ask for proof that they should be

    Faithful to God

    Caring for others

    Living with integrity

    Be men or women of their word

    Using and developing the gifts God has given to each person for the building up of the church and for Gods glory.

    Obeying God’s commands

    Being a blessing to others by sharing the wisdom given to those around.

    Honestly if you have a problem with these things as a leader, then clearly you should not be one in the first place. As for proof that they are called for, feel free to open your own Bible from time to time and it would not be remotely possible that you could miss them.

    Kind Regards

    Matt Kennedy

    • http://brandonacox.com Brandon A. Cox

      Bingo Matt.

  • John Green

    Thank you so much, God Bless.

  • David

    When I or anyone stand before God the Father He will look upon the nail pierced hands of His Son and know whether the one standing before Him has faith in Christ. For we are saved by grace, through faith, and not be works (even works of faithfulness) lest any man should boast. We should practice faithfulness, not in preparation for a “final exam” but rather in joyful response to what has already been done for us.

    • http://brandonacox.com Brandon A. Cox

      David, we agree. Pastor Rick agrees. It’s not an article about whether a person is allowed entrance into heaven or not, but rather ‘as a Christian,’ were we faithful with the new life we were given in Jesus.

    • Rebecca Tate

      OH but David God has saved us, by grace and Jesus alone, BUT we will stand before the judgement seat of Christ and have to give an account of what we have done with our time, talents and treasure. This is not about our salvation it’s about our sanctification. The saving of our souls.

  • Nobel

    I’ve been reading Rick Warren’s messages for around 15 years already and I honestly never thought he would deviate so much from biblical teachnig. This article is just a denial of God’s grace and a denial of his work in us which is exclusively by his grace. Paul said: by the grace of God I am what I am.

    The problem with this article is that it is a mixture of truth and lies. The first impression is that it is very true. But if we read it carefully, we see it is full of wrong teaching.

    Where does the Bible say “God has made an investment in your life and He expects a return on it”? God did sacrifice his own son, Jesus, to make us righteous and part of his family and only by living in Jesus we can do God’s will for us. God is not a banker, nor an investor. He is the father of those who give their lives to Jesus.

    • Russell

      The Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25.

    • Russell

      James 3:1 also indicates that teachers/pastors/preachers will be judged more strictly.

    • http://brandonacox.com Brandon A. Cox

      Nobel, it’s clear from Scripture that salvation is judged on the basis of our faith in Jesus – it’s by grace alone. But believers will be held responsible, in heaven, for how we invested the new life given to us in Christ.

      • Nobel

        I’m not saying our works won’t be judged by God. They will. But, grace is not only for salvation. It’s by the grace of God that I’m still alive and continue breathing. It’s by the grace of God that I do any kind of work for him.

        The way I respond to God’s love for me is becoming each day more dependent on him in every single aspect of my life, be it my marriage, my finances, my ministry, my health, my job, etc.

        The way Rick Warren has put things is like having God telling us: “I’ve given you talents. Now, go by yourself and bring me the results”. And the glory is ours. I myself don’t believe on this. For me, God tells us: “Go and my Spirit will be with you all the time, to show you the way to go, to give you the words to speak and to strengthen you”. And the glory belongs to Jesus.

    • P. Charlie

      Nobel. To your question of “Where does the Bible say “God has made an investment in your life and He expects a return on it”? Have you ever read the parable of the talents? The final judgment? the whole Chapter 25 in Matthew?
      It seems to me that you come more from a spirit of criticism than from one of a desire to learn, serve and love which are also the basis of Jesus teachings in the Gospels.
      Please revise your intentions.

  • kevin

    so this is how I am going to be judged by God. and here all this time I thought John 3-16 covered it boy was I wrong

    • http://brandonacox.com Brandon A. Cox

      Kevin, the difference between heaven and hell is judged solely on the basis of your response to Jesus. But what heaven is like for believers will depend at least in part on how faithfully we invested the time we lived after meeting Jesus.

  • Flika Cat

    And just how does Mr. Warren know that these things are the things GOD will use to evaluage ones faithfullness?

    • Nobel

      Unfortunately, today, many churches and pastors are so influenced by this world view, that they think God does the same. Jesus is our perfect righteousness, the only one. If we really are in Jesus and trust in his sufficient grace, there is nothing we should be afraid of, not even a judgement. If we are guided by his Spirit and are connected to the vine, we’ll be doing God’s will, just because Jesus will do it through us.

      The Bible states that David served his own generation by the will of God. Wasn’t he a murderer and adulterer? Yes, but he was also a man after God’s heart. That’s what expects from us.

      This is becoming a new Roman Catholic Church, by imposing men’s ideas, instead of teaching the Bible.

      • 2manyillegals

        David repented of his sin..and reaped what he sowed…the child of his adulterous relationship, died. But his repentance was real, not for “show!” I remember a conversation with a Catholic friend; when I told her about the GRACE of God, her response was: “So, I can commit/engage in whatever SIN I desire, and STILL be forgiven?” And, “isn’t THAT a license to SIN?” That is an indication of a total misunderstanding of the GOSPEL.

  • Mucked

    Thank you pastor Rick for sharing, it is a testimony of your faithfulness. Stay Blessed Sir

  • Denise Darnielle

    Very good information.. Truthful and very helpful..

  • Ashlee Nelson

    Pastor Rick your ministry blesses me daily :) Praise God for how he is using you and your family. Thank you for your series on the radio back in April/May!

  • David Libby

    What religion are you preaching? I did not read your entire statement above, but if you are like many other preachers that are trying to make yourself or your ministry rich on the backs of your followers I am not interested. I do not believe in religion. I believe in the one God and his commandments. I do not believe that popes, priests, ministers, or other “religious” leaders hold anymore truth than any one of us that follow the word of God.

    • Treva Holmlund

      Do some research and you can find the answers to the questions you have asked here.

    • Buddy James

      I don’t think he is “preaching a religion”. I believe he is reminding us of the precepts and principles found in the Word of God.

  • Coach Linda

    Thank you for clearly defining the practicality of how to “live out” this characteristic of the “Fruit of the Spirit”.

  • Rodney Dean Cooper

    How do you know this? References, please. I’m serious.

    • Buddy James

      Really? Please read the article again.

    • Sam Smith

      Please open the bible to page one and read…

  • Kathy Widenhouse

    Awesome article and very convicting. Thank you!

  • Ben McClary

    I LOVE the godly wisdom that you bring to us all, Pastor Rick. You’re a perpetual leadership training machine! :)

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