It’s never a question of whether a man, woman, or child can be trusted, but wherein and on pain of what. Faith is a heuristic, and no one is smart enough or rational enough not to rely on deeply held heuristics. Therefore, rather than asking whether someone will remain true, ask yourself to what and to whom they will remain true, and at what price.
The scale of faithfulness isn’t measured in opportunities deferred because it isn’t based in economical behavior. Deferring gain doesn’t produce a desire to re-examine one’s deeply held beliefs the way pain and loss do, so revealed preference isn’t an accurate yardstick. Are they able to give up a finger before reconsidering their deeply held belief that this loyalty is worth further personal cost? Freedom? A testicle? A career? A family member’s life? Their God-given mind and personality?
To express this again, faithfulness is measured in appendages removed before reaching an existential crisis about remaining true to something or someone in particular which was previously considered essential and unquestionable.
(This post sponsored by MTs Incorporated.)