“Fidelity to the program” was something greatly emphasized by the organizations that trained me in trauma-informed care, as part of the education I received to do the work with adoptive families that I do. Fidelity means “the extent to which delivery of an intervention adheres to the protocol or program model originally developed”. For example, the ones who created Circle of Security Parenting and Trust-Based Relational Intervention did not want me attaching their name to the work I do in their name if I was going to deviate from their protocols. Therefore, I had to sign my name to documents attesting that I would stay true to their message, or not use their name for some hybrid method I came up with myself but said I was practicing their methods.
Fidelity to the program clauses are written to keep the integrity of the organization’s message the way it was originally intended by those who created it. It keeps from diluting the message, and preserves the name (or character) of the organization.
God has a fidelity clause for those who will take on His Name and His Covenant too, and I came across it today. It shows up here:
Deuteronomy 4: 2 You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
Deuteronomy 12: 32 “[a]Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.
May it be sobering to realize that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is judged by the world based on what the world sees in us – based upon our actions as His ambassadors! He is ‘unseen’, we are very visible to the world. What we do ‘in His name’ carries weight for how the world views Him. It carries weight for those in our family and other spheres of influence. When we ‘sign on’ to come under His protection and jurisdiction as our King, He expects us to be faithful witnesses of His holy standards, which are His commandments.
But are we? Or do we listen to those who have changed His message, tweaked it to suit themselves/ourselves? Are we muddying His character broadcast into the world by the ways we have deviated from His original message/commandments? Do we bring His Name honor or do we bring His name shame when we do not have fidelity to His program?
I pray that we all will spend more time seeking what it is that we are called to do when we say we follow Him. Seek what the Word says that His ‘program’ is. And do it, just as He said to do, adding nothing and taking away nothing that He has not authorized to be changed. Fidelity is the mark of the good and faithful servant (Matthew 5:23)
I am a work in progress in this area.