A hundred years ago, thousands volunteered to ship out to England to fight Germany. Canada was strongly loyal to Britain, and this motivated many. Loyalty motivates people to do noble things.

One characteristic of loyalty today is its absence. Marriages suffer without it; communities crumble when industry goes elsewhere; the church weakens when it is absent. But friendships thrive when loyalty exists, and dedicated families are secure and happy.

Loyalty is easily spoken, but harder to practice. “Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?” (Prov.20:6) Hosea cried out that Israel’s loyalty “is like a morning cloud, and like the dew which goes away early.” (Hos.6:4) Businesses have trivialized it to “loyalty points.” Strangely, loyalty can be self-serving.

Jesus was loyal to his disciples, even when they were disappointing. John said of Jesus, “having loved His own, who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” (Jn.13:1) If Jesus is loyal to us, He also wants our loyalty and faithfulness to Him. The church functions best when its members are loyal. It is hard for elders to lead us when we are not. Sheep pay attention to its shepherds. Those who wander away soon face great danger, even if they are unaware of it. Loyalty keeps people safe.

Loyalty is demanding. Millions of loyal soldiers gave their lives in the Great War. Could we do any less for Jesus and His church? “He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 Jn.3:16)

– Tim Johnson