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Loyalty-The Land Mines

Loyalty (def) – As strong feeling of support or allegiance.

There are definite land mines in life and some of those land mines cannot be avoided and some can.  One of the land mines that I step on all the time is in the area of loyalty.  I tend to trust what a person says when they say it and then all that goes out the window when they go back on what they said.  Of course, they will say, “did you think that was supposed to last forever?”  To which I reply, “It didn’t even last a year!”  Loyalty in life is something you don’t see much of and is something when you see real loyalty causes you to trust again.  Years ago I had such a chance to be loyal to a pastor I was serving with and, even at my own cost, decided to be loyal.  It worked out great for him, but not for me.  Does that make me a great guy?  Probably not, but at the time it was done with a pure motive and a great deal of respect for the person I was standing by.  When given the chance to do the same thing for me, he didn’t return the loyalty and my life was heavily impacted by it.  Sooooo, loyalty is very important when working as a team.  Not being a pastor has given me many opportunities to be loyal, even to a fault.  I have been loyal in most of those circumstances and it has cost me.  Of the ones I was less than loyal, it cost the person I wasn’t loyal to.  When is it good to be loyal?  When you know a lack of loyalty could hurt the person you are serving with and that their life or ministry could be compromised.  Years ago I remember my dad coming home one day and telling my mom about one of his closest friends stabbing him in the back.  He was devastated, and so were we.  It totally changed our impression of that man and to this day I remember the hurt he caused in my dad’s life.  My dad was loyal to him though and that man benefited from my dad’s loyalty.  Here is the kicker.  My dad wasn’t a Christian and this other man was…  What’s up with that?  Just because we put the name of Christ next to ours, it does’t mean we will always be loyal.  But, it should!!  Of all people, we as Christians, disciples, should be the most loyal people you will ever meet.  The ability to be loyal comes out of the awesome changes God makes to the life of a believer.  He takes a fallen person and puts on a new character in them and one of those attributes is loyalty.  The very foundation of the loyalty of our military comes from God’s Word and should also be seen in God’s people.  As leaders we are at our weakest when we don’t believe others Christians are behind us and supporting us.  We are at our strongest when believers lift us up in prayer and think the best about us. When those of the houshold of faith are loyal to us as leaders we soar as never before and serve with an unbridled heart.  Listen to what the writer of Hebrews said about following your leaders in Chapter 13: 17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.  This isn’t only for following leaders but for loyalty to all we call friends.  The ministry God has called me to is forever hindered when God’s people are not loyal to the Lord and loyal to me.  Uh oh!  See the parallel?  Most will never live out their loyalty to others without first being loyal to Christ.  Not gonna happen.  It is my desire to be loyal to the calling of God on my life and those who honor that calling will in turn be loyal to me as they undergird my life with prayer and exhortations.

I guess you can say “it’s part of the code!”

A young man in the army confided to his padre that he never went about with another girl if he was within fifty miles of home, his loyalty went fifty miles. How far does your loyalty to Jesus Christ go?

How far does your loyalty go?  I have a few friends who are no where near me right now, but they are the most loyal people I know.  I rely on their loyalty and try to live up to that loyalty.  It spurs me on to greatness.  Sadly though, I have other people who call me friend who are the most disloyal people I know.  I don’t even give them much thought on a daily basis.  I don’t have anything against them.  I just don’t have anything for them.  The true story below speaks to what loyalty is all about.

One of the all-time greats in baseball was Babe Ruth. His bat had the power of a cannon, and his record of 714 home runs remained unbroken until Hank Aaron came along. The Babe was the idol of sports fans, but in time age took its toll, and his popularity began to wane. Finally the Yankees traded him to the Braves. In one of his last games in Cincinnati, Babe Ruth began to falter. He struck out and made several misplays that allowed the Reds to score five runs in one inning. As the Babe walked toward the dugout, chin down and dejected, there rose from the stands an enormous storm of boos and catcalls. Some fans actually shook their fists. Then a wonderful thing happened. A little boy jumped over the railing, and with tears streaming down his cheeks he ran out to the great athlete. Unashamedly, he flung his arms around the Babe’s legs and held on tightly. Babe Ruth scooped him up, hugged him, and set him down again. Patting him gently on the head, he took his hand and the two of them walked off the field together.

When our Savior went to the cross, in the midst of booing and people jeering as he walked up Calvary, Jesus carried His own cross and showed His loyalty to God and to us as he fulfilled his great calling to free us from the penalty of sin.  His loyalty drives my loyalty and keeps me going no matter what humans may do.  I have given my life to be more loyal to Him and fulfill what He has called me to do no matter what may come my way.  Praise God for the loyalty of Jesus.  Oh if we would be half that loyal, the Christian faith would soar like an eagle and lives would be eternally impacted.  Be that loyal person, no matter if others are never that way to you.

Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

There are land mines in life and loyalty helps all of us navigate in such a way as to miss those land mines and it begins in the thing called loyalty.  Go ahead, shock someone.  Be loyal!!

The Pilgrimage continues…. David Warren

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