It seems as if loyalty is hard to come by these days. We can give up on each other too easily: on our spouses, our roommates, and our friends. We can tolerate silence in our relationships, not speak up about what we think and feel and grow comfortable having no vision for each other’s lives. Loyalty is something God feels a lot about and to be close to him and to each other we need to learn how to be truly loyal people.
Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.
One of the biggest roadblocks we face in developing loyal relationships is letting emotions guide our actions. Too often our mood will determine our loyalty. It’s easy to be loyal when there is no conflict in the relationship and the relationship is mutually beneficial. But what happens when that person hurts you? Do you quit and give up? Do you get bitter? Do you pull back your heart or do you continue to stick with the person regardless of whether or not they pursue you?
To learn to be faithful through these times, we have to learn from the most loyal person… God.
Faithfulness Is Loyalty
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.
There is no better person to learn loyalty from than God. When we are at our worst, when we hurt him, when we turn on him and when we don’t care about him, he doesn’t turn his back on us. His loyalty is more than a physical loyalty. It is an emotional loyalty.
Every day we can make the decision to be loyal. One strength of a loyal person is that they deal consistently with their sin. Many of us can see sin as “pass or fail” or “good or evil” rather than seeing it as something that creates distance in relationships.
One reason why we don’t like dealing with our sin is because we have to confess it. It’s humbling to come to God and the people we sin against and ask for forgiveness. But just as much as it is humbling it is even more so rewarding because we get to be reconciled in our relationship with God and with those we care about.
Loyalty In Friendship
While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.
1 Samuel 23:15-18 (NIV)
Have you every wondered what loyalty in relationships looks like? We can learn a lot from David and Jonathan’s relationship:
- Effort – Jonathan went to David. He found, him, tracked him down. He took initiative.
- God-focused – Jonathan helped David focus on what is most important, not on his problems.
- Encouraged – Jonathan put courage into David.
- Committed – Jonathan had David’s back through thick and thin. He was not a “fair-weather” friend.
- Vision – Jonathan gave David vision for who he would become.
Do you do this in your relationships?
Loyalty In Church
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Ephesians 2:19-22 (NIV)
God’s church is built on loyalty. It’s one giant family. Everyone is joined together. We lay our lives down for each other. We are being built together. Our lives are intertwined with one another. There is no better place to get a glimpse of God’s loyalty than in his church.
Without It, We Will Not Grow
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:14-16 (NIV)
Loyalty is essential to growth. Only through loyalty can we develop the kind of relationships that persevere with each other and provide the love necessary to truly change each other’s lives.
Take some time to reflect on these questions:
- Are there any relationships that you have given up on?
- What aspect of loyalty from David and Jonathan’s relationship can you grow in this week?