Loyalty defined: giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.
I recently listened to a friend lament over the loss of loyalty in his life. He indicated that over the past decade he has seen around his life a steady erosion of the principle of loyalty to God, family, and friends. Was he right?
Our Savior God gave us the perfect example of loyalty in the earthly life of Jesus Christ. Jesus was always about the work of His Father for one greater purpose: To see God glorified in and through His life. The missional priority of God’s glory compelled loyalty to God and God’s greater plan of redemption. I believe this is essential in seeing the principle of loyalty make a come back in our lives and the lives of others.
Inherent within the understanding of true and godly loyalty that the above definition fails to mention is the willingness to place the object or person of loyalty before self. The greatest God-given definition of loyalty is intertwined within the powerful concept of love: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). In order for loyalty to happen, requires first a decision to place something or someone ahead of self.
While someone theoretically could show a form of loyalty to something or someone for selfish gain, it would be the rare exception. To be loyal to someone is paramountly a self-imposed commitment to another that is fueled by love. From a Christian standpoint, loyalty is an outcome of a life that loves God and loves other (The 1st and 2nd greatest commandments). On the surface, it appears to be something easily attained. Yet, in a world that is consumed by self, it is a life-pursuit that necessitates daily focus and a network of supporting relationships (church, family, and friends).
Unfortunately, my friend is correct. The concept of loyalty is quickly fading away to an ever-growing culture that is obsessed with self-gain over the expense of others. Yet, as Christ-followers we are given the great honor and mission to follow our Savior where He has already been: To pursue a life that is loyal to our Savior God for His honor and glory. What if we would truly live out this loyalty within the relationships with God, our marriages, and others? In essence, to pursue a God-driven loyalty that would rather see oneself die than to compromise the relationship he or she has with God, spouse, or others. What would our lives look like? What about our churches and families?