Loyalty is remaining committed to those whom God has brought into our lives and has called us to serve, even in times of difficulty. It is developing allegiance and respect in one another, and not seeking to manipulate the other person. Being loyal exhibits our commitment to Christ by our commitment–with discernment–to people and righteous causes at all times (Proverbs 17:17; Ecclesiastes 8:2-4; John 15:13; Romans 13:1-5; Titus 3:1).
Disloyalty, Betrayal, Distrusting, and Unfaithful, are the opposites. It is allowing our corrupt nature to characterize our desires, so we manipulate others rather than build them up. It is to disregard God’s Lordship and authority as well as His love for others. This mindset will quickly turn into contempt, and will cause us to disrespect and undermine our leaders as well as one another, and lead us to impertinence and blasphemy towards God.
Loyalty is like faith; it means assurance of another. In ancient times, the two words had the same meaning, and referred to one’s loyalty to a person, or trustworthiness to a promise they had made. The person receiving the promise was acting on faith and trusting in that person, and that is what loyalty is mainly about. But, loyalty has another facet to it. It is also a call that we involve other characters into, such as, forgiveness, mercy, and respect.
We are to realize this with people, even when it is underserved and unearned. It is also the knowledge that people with whom we place our loyalty will disappoint us. However, we cannot base our character and self image in their reaction, only in who Christ is. Our outlook on life and reaction to people needs to be rooted in God, not on how those people respond to us. We are not responsible for how people treat us; we are only responsible for treating them with utmost character, as a reflection of Christ. Hence, the word Christian is being “Christ like,” not “self like.”
We are never to forget what Christ did for us. So, our treatment of a person needs to be rooted in Christ, not in what they can do for us, or how they respond to us. Yes, we need to be discerning, and not be overly taken advantage of. But, real friendship is not based on who can do what, but in mutual love and respect that is freely given and freely received. God will bring people into our lives, and we cannot–due to logistics and time–be good friends with everyone. But, we can treat every one with whom we come in contact, with good character– and that means with loyalty, too. We need to realize that in order to keep relationships functional, we have to be dedicated, trustworthy, dependable, and committed. That means we do not gossip, we do not put down, we do not undermine, we do not play games; rather we model Christ and what He did for us! When we stick with our friends, we keep our friends. Long term relationships tend to be rare, but they are vital. Do not let then be rare in your life!
We are to realize that God works through people, including our church and national leaders (Proverbs 21:1; Romans 13). God uses others to carry His plan to us and those around us. Therefore, loyalty is also a demonstration of our obedience to our country, civil leaders, church, teachers, authority figures, and family (unless they give a command that goes against God’s Word). It is something we demonstrate both in public and in private. Loyalty is a character that puts a portion of love into action for those others in your life. It may be the one key aspect, seen in you by others, that will point them to God’s love!
Is the Character of Loyalty working in you?
Here is how you can find out. Take a careful look at this character and fruit of Loyalty from God’s most precious Word, by examining the passages below. Now ask yourself:
1. How do I exhibit Loyalty in my daily life?
2. What can I do to develop a better willingness to be Loyal and maintain a commitment to people?
3. What blocks Loyalty from working and being exhibited in me?
4. How can I make Loyalty function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainly and stress?
· Here are positive examples from Scripture (2 Samuel 3:6-21; Esther 8:1-2; John 11:16; 20:8; Hebrews 11:24-26)
· Here are negative examples from Scripture (1 Samuel 15:11; 1 Kings 18:18-19; John 6:66; 2 Peter 2:10;15)
1. How would you define Loyalty? Are you a respectful person? If so, what about respect for your government leaders?
2. What part does Loyalty play in your relationships with church leaders, friends, your boss, and your family?
3. How does being Distrusting counteract Loyalty? What is the cost to others (God, family, friends, neighbors, church, workplace, etc.) when you are a person who is Disloyal?
4. What happens to your relationship with God, with others, and with the opportunities God gives you, when you are Unfaithful or dislike to honor the people in charge?
5. When have you been filled with Loyalty the most?
6. In what situation did you fail to be Loyal when you should have been?
7. What issue is in your life that would improve with more Loyalty? Do you just complain, or do you seek to be a part of the solution?
8. Think through the steps you need to take to put Loyalty into action in a specific instance. Such as, what can I do to make sure I always treat authority figures, even the police when they are writing me a ticket, with utmost respect? Where is Loyalty improperly functioning in my life and relationships, and what can I do about it? Do I put down my church and civil leaders? If so, what can I do to be a solution and not a problem?