Ruth 4—Living Faithfully
This is our fourth and final reflection on the book of Ruth. I was in the beginning reluctant to study this Old Testament book, but now I can honestly say that I am glad to have studied, discussed, and reflected on this book. I suggest if you, dear reader have not yet read this short powerful testament to God’s love and care for us than you should spend this weekend going through it. This book hints at how we are meant to live and respond to one another.
The character of Boaz is a good thing to shoot for if you are a young male. Boaz teaches us what it means to be a stand up person, what a man should be, and what it really means to live faithfully.
The character of Ruth is a good example for young ladies. Ruth teaches us what it means to stand as friend with family, what a woman should be, and what it really means to be human.
I know that I intend to live the life of Boaz, to be Boaz to my own Ruth. I intend to stand firm in faith and to let God’s love and grace shape my life responding to life in similar fashion to how Boaz did. This short book shows us quite powerfully what it really means to live with God in this life.
It is said ‘90% of life is just showing up.’ One commentator of Ruth claims that this saying is one of the major lessons of this book. Boaz and Ruth are simply two ordinary people living faithful lives showing us how God wants to live as well. I believe that God wants us show up, to be aware and present to our life and the people in it. God wants us to simply be present to the reality of who we really are and how life really is. This can be tough in normal circumstances, but when we are having a bad day, it can be even tougher. We want to wall ourselves off and not pay attention. However, it is in those times when we need to pay more attention. To smile at a stranger, to speak with someone, to show the love we want to be shown.
To know what it means to live ordinary faithful lives we will need to define our terms.
Some would define ordinary as sinful and that is part of it, all have sinned after all. Yet, I think ordinary also means being honest about who you are and not trying to be someone you are not and being humble and open to learning. I think ordinary speaks to what and who we are everyday. I think everyone could be considered ordinary, but also ordinary is an attitude you bring to life. It is a verb not a noun.
What does it mean to be faithful? First, it means letting God be God and being aware of who we are knowing that God loves us just as we are. It also means being hopeful that even in the dark times that God is with us and will see us through it. All of us have faced darkness and what matters is not how we face the dark. Do we let it get the best of us or do we use it to be better than we used to be. Faithful is also a verb, it something you do, you are faithful it is a state of being and not a physical description. You can be faithful in different ways. Not all faithful go to church or say the same prayers or read the bible often. These are all good things, but there are other ways to exercise your faith. Faithful is about the actions we take, it is not some propositional statements but the life we live.
Peter Rollins defines orthodoxy as believing in the right way. He writes, “The term orthodox as referring to someone who engages with the world in the right way—that is, in the way of love. The idea of orthodoxy refer to a living engagement with the world that s mediated, though no enslave y our reading of the bible.”
We don’t have to be supermen and women to live ordinary faithful lives, to honor God with our lives means to be as loving in each moment, to be aware, to show up to our lives knowing that we will stumble but we have a loving God who is with us always. I believe if we love if we stay faithful than even though the worst goes before we will be blessed by God and be a blessing to others.