By Basilea Schlink
An unreliable person is one who says: "Yes, yes" and then does not do it, just like the first son of the parable of the father and the two sons. Jesus preferred the second son although he said "No" at first (Matt. 21: 28-31). The unreliable, even when they do not promise to do anything, are always irresponsible. They let God and people wait. They disappoint them by not doing what they are told to do and are not very concerned about the trouble they have caused. Such irresponsible attitudes can often form a chain of difficulties at work and can cause great loss of goods or money.
Irresponsible people cost their fellow men much time and energy and make life difficult for them.
They are not interested in how much trouble they cause others. Yet with this attitude they sin against love and this is a serious sin. It separates us from God and His love (1 John 4: 8), here on earth and even more so in eternity, where the irresponsible, who thought this personality trait was harmless and perhaps excused it by saying it was due to their congeniality, will be greatly astonished. Because this sin will have serious consequences in eternity, the first thing we have to do is to break with it and not to try to justify it. As long as we justify ourselves, we can be sure that Satan is holding us tight in his claws. Then this sin will have piled up a mountain of guilt against us on the day of judgment. So we have to take seriously this sin, which we often think is harmless, and fight against it to the point of shedding blood. For behind the sin of unreliability there are other sins like self-will, indifference and superficiality. Or we are so involved in our own affairs that we avoid the inconvenience of carrying out something reliably for someone else.
But the deepest fault of the unreliable is that they do not live in the sight of God. They usually make their first mistake by not taking an obligation, a promise, or a commission seriously. They only listen with one ear, because they do not do their work for God and in His presence. They are not particularly interested in doing their work as well as possible in order to please Jesus. But whether we work for weeks, months or years for a certain project, it will all be in vain, and will one day be thrown into the fire of judgment, if we do not do it with God.
If we do not want to find that all our activities are in vain and do not want to come under God's judgment, we have to begin to listen carefully when people tell us things, as though we were hearing a message directly from God, which is a matter of life and death, so that we do not miss a single word. If we tend to forget easily, we should begin to take requests, admonitions and orders seriously, by taking notes. We must do so in the knowledge that we are then taking God seriously, who has given us this task and is seeking a faithful steward. We must immediately do what we are told and not put anything off. Every time we carry out a task, we should call upon God to give us the grace to do everything properly. In faith we must ask the Lord to stand before our eyes so that we can do everything for Him and not for ether people. Let this sin serve to make us strive to lead a life in the presence of God. Jesus has redeemed us for this.
It is written that Jesus was found "faithful in God's house" (Heb. 3: 2). And He has ransomed us to bear His image. Especially in our times when so many will not believe the words of the Gospel, as members of His body we should live a credible witness in the world by being faithful and reliable even in the smallest things. Through Jesus' sacrifice we are freed from the power of unreliability. Therefore, we will be freed, if we continually ask Him to fulfil the promise that He gave us in His Word. "He condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8: 3) so that sin can no longer rule over us, and our members might become instruments of His grace.