Active and Passive Faithfulness Are Meant to Work Together

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 59

And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

– Hebrews 6:11-12 (ESV)

Abandonment is a state in which you have completely handed your existence over to God, to be used according to his good pleasure. God will then use your existence in two ways. Certain things, he will require you to do; certain things, he will simply do through you. Your submission to him, therefore, is also twofold. You faithfully execute his clear orders, and you accept, with humble submission, the effects of his work on your soul, be they pleasant or painful. All of this is part of your abandonment, your complete submission to the order of God, according to the nature of the present moment. It should not matter to you what form your abandonment will take from one moment to the next. What matters is that your abandonment is total.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

In Hebrews 6:12, we are encouraged to inherit the promises by faith and patience. These twin virtues do not correspond exactly to the active and passive faithfulness of Jean Pierre de Caussade, but there is enough correspondence for us to learn from. This becomes clearer as the book of Hebrews talks more about faith, and we see how it drives us to action.

Faith and patience are like two men who were waiting for a train that was running late. The first man (faith) left the station before the train arrived, unable to wait any longer. When the train finally arrived, the second man (patience) was afraid to get onboard. He is still at the station. These two men should have helped each other. Faith and patience are meant to work together. So are active and passive faithfulness.

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.