We live in a disposable age where things are easily thrown away once they have served their purpose. There are disposable cameras, disposable cutlery, disposable napkins and so much more. Disposable means that something is intended to be used once and then thrown away. Sadly, many friendships have become disposable too. People use other people to get ahead in life and once they have served their purpose the supposed friend moves on to the next person. Few people build friendships with the intention of making them last. Not many people value friendships through thick and thin. Many people enjoy their friendships while things are good but dispose of them as soon as they become an inconvenience. Loyalty is a rare and precious quality in a friend these days. As Billy Ocean once sung, “When the going gets tough the tough get going”.
It’s not only in this day and age that friendships are flaky; Job had the same problem way back in the fifteenth century B.C. He was going through the most difficult time imaginable. He had lost everything. His wealth, possessions, children and even his health were wiped out – all in the same day. His friends and family did not remain loyal to him in these difficult times. They accused him falsely saying that it must have been sin that caused his suffering and God was punishing him. In a time when he needed all the support he could possibly get he found none in his friends and family.
Loyalty means to be faithful, trustworthy, devoted, reliable, dependable and dedicated. Can you say that you are all or any of these things to your friends? Job most certainly could not admit to having one loyal friend in his life. Job tried to convince his friends that he had not sinned but no one believed him. Have you had friends like that, friends that don’t believe what you tell them and cause you a great deal of pain as a result? Or perhaps you have had a friend who has been your friend during good times and in times when you had something to offer them but left you to struggle alone through hard times. You cannot change what happened and although it hurts deeply you will need to forgive them and put it behind you. You cannot change how other people treat you but you can decide how you treat others. Let’s start with ourselves and take a look at how we can become a loyal friend. The Bible says that we will reap what we sow , let’s choose to sow loyalty.
Loyalty Starts With Love
No relationship will last if it isn’t based on love. Love is the best starting point because as 1 Corinthians 13:7 says, love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Loyalty Loves at All Times
In good times and bad, loyalty based on love is unwavering. Proverbs 17:17 says that A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Loyalty is Love in Action
Loyalty is not what you say but what you do. Love is not a feeling it is an act of your will. 1 John 3:18 says let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
Loyalty Starts with God
Loyalty to each other is not a natural human quality. The Bible says that our heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Misplaced loyalty is what hurts friendships as it is more common to be loyal to our own selfish needs than to be loyal to someone else and their needs. Perhaps you or your friends have been more loyal to a career, lusts, money, power or self-importance. Most of us cannot testify to being naturally loyal, it is only by God working in us that we are able to become a truly loyal friend.
It’s not possible to be loyal without love and God. Our human nature is selfish. We use people as stepping stones to further ourselves in life. Some do it purposefully and blatantly while others do it without even realise that they are doing it. Someone once said that loyalty is like the juice of an orange – the flavour cannot be determined until the orange is squeezed beyond the breaking point. Let us, with God’s help, determine to found loyal when we reach that breaking point in our friendships.