I think most people are capable of being and returning faithfulness as described above when life is good and when others are treating you with faithfulness. But what about when they aren't? What about when a "faithful" person is not thorough in their duties or true to their words or promises? What about when the person becomes abusive in their position and faithfulness is not practiced? What are we to do then?
Like the other fruits we have talked about, remaining faithful, even in the face of difficult circumstances will benefit YOU in the long run. Remaining faithful is about acting out of your character and not your emotions.
Side note: this does not mean staying in a bad or dangerous relationship, work environment or friendship. Faithfulness means being faithful to the character of Christ in you. Leave and be safe, but in your leaving do not sin in anger. Remaining faithful has more to do with remaining constant in your good character and not acting out of fear or retaliation.
Being faithful in trying times means behaving in such a way that you, and the Lord, can look back and be proud of how you handled yourself. Do not give over to gossip or slander or put downs, even if they are true, they are not helpful. Be of such faithful character that you are steady, sure and calm, this speaks much more highly of God in you than frantic emotions do.
Faithfulness leads us to God's riches. Truly. Remaining faithful, even when you can't see what is happening, means you will be present when God steps in. Just look at Joseph! Had he chosen to be unfaithful to the Lord, how different would his life look?
Faithfulness to God's character wins every single time. Especially in the face of people not treating you well, people talking poorly about you, people spreading lies about you...those are all products of fear and jealousy. Period. A faithful person does not give them a second thought and stands firm on the fact that God knows their truth.
Be a person who is faithful, reliable, trusted, adhering to facts, not swayed by fear or jealousy.
Faithful people care about their God given character, remaining true to that and pushing foward in growth. The faithless care more about reputation, which is a man made assignment based on fear, lies and jealousy most times, child's play.
Character weighs more heavily than reputation every time. Reputation is a joke.
Keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His
statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies,
according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed
in all that you do and wherever you turn, so that the LORD may carry out
His promise which He spoke concerning me, saying, 'If your sons are
careful of their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart
and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of
Israel.' 1 Kings 2:3-4