“Loyalty and truth preserve the king,
And he upholds his throne by righteousness.”
“Through these fields of destruction, baptism of fire
I’ve watched all your suffering, as the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad, in the fear and alarm
You did not desert me, my brothers in arms”
Dire Straits, ’84
Loyalty, and our deep committment to our “brothers” and our “sisters” should be growing in your life right now. It should be “escorting” you to a deeper sense of intimacy with each other. About 20 years ago, I visited a Lutheran church on a Sunday service. There was a point in the liturgy when you were to greet the people around you. I remember grabbing a guy in the pew in front of me. I gave him a massive bear hug, squeezing the air from him. He was my brother, even though he was a stranger! I hung on tight to him. He was my brother.
In Bible times David and Jonathan had a friendship that defied political reasoning. Jonathan was supposed to be the next king of Judah, everything had been arranged by his father, Saul. But when David came into Jonathan’s life, everything was changed. An instant friendship changed everything. They would remain loyal to each other for the rest of their lives. I believe they are a model of what we are to each other, in the church.
I will confess to you, I have neglected so much in my spiritual walk. There is a lot I am ashamed of. I have sinned more as a Christian, than I ever did before I came to Christ. As a Christian, I have sinned quite vigorously. But one thing, I have held to beyond all else. I loved my brothers. They all know who they are! I can list them if you want. But in the final analysis, I have been faithful to them. I’m pretty stupid, in so many ways. But it seems that at this particular level, things are simplified. “Do you love, Allen? Of course I do, Father: even if he is in a strange and difficult place, I love my brother; always, and forever.”
Loyalty to those who have been brought into our lives, should not ever be diminished or explained away for what we call “logical reasons.” There should be a connection that should never, ever be terminated. Some of the brothers who I connected to in the ’80s, are no longer serving the Lord. But as I think of them, there is a relationship that can’t be broken, even by their disobedience. I still love them deeply.
Being loyal to someone, does not mean you honor their choices, or their sin. It seems that the issues they grapple with, can’t ever really erode or diminish your love for them. When I was a boy, on occasion we declared a “blood” oath with each other. It was almost “ceremonial,” we would cut our thumbs and meld with each other, mixing blood with blood. If only commitment and loyalty were that easy. But this is the definition of an “agape love.”
I believe the Holy Spirit sees, and honors loyalty. But I admit, I’m not doing this things for His blessing. Rather it is a compulsion, something I know is right; something I will do until they bury me. And I honestly can’t explain it. But they will always be my “brothers in arms.”
- Loyalty (troyproject.wordpress.com)
- The keeping of a covenant (lisaeasterling.wordpress.com)
- “What does the Bible say about faithfulness?” (justiceforraymond.wordpress.com)
- David and Jonathan: Thoughts from Church (March 24, 2013) (noahhood11.wordpress.com)