Where is your loyalty? I am sure we have all been in situations where this question required us to give an answer or made us wonder it about others. The answer to this question is more a geographic issue than we might think. Also arriving at this answer has plenty to do with our navigation skills. Loyalty is spiritual evidence, and it is about the substance that lies at the core of our being.
We humans have devised many forms of organized relationships such as marriage, friendships, business relationships, team sports, work, and small and large communities. On a global scale, we are members of nations or states, sovereign kingdoms, and multi-national corporations. In addition, and just over the horizon more of us will enter relationships through user collectives of global telecommunications apps and other virtual products like Second Life and Bitcoin.
Every human enters this world via a family relationship. Some families are biological and others are social in nature. From there, the layers of relatedness such as gender, race and a host of genetic characteristics make us part of various social groups. Christians baptize themselves, some at birth others later in life as a sign to others of their membership as part of a spiritual community. Likewise, other people perform ceremonial acts to celebrate and signify their relationship to others and of their membership in one of the various spiritual communities of the world.
Developing a hierarchy of loyalties (ex. God, family, work and country) is a way to help navigate our many relationships. However, loyalties can still become confused. For example, we can be loyal to our relationship with our religious community and at the same time we can betray our relationship with God. We can also be loyal to a political or military objective of one group and betray our loyalty to other groups like our race, gender, family or humanity.
We each have also inherited the awareness of the many cultures connected to us. At every moment of every day, we knowingly make decisions that help one of our entangled relationships often at the betrayal of another interwoven relationship. However, as ambassadors of God our loyalty is really a manifestation of God’s loyalty. Therefore, when we experience breaches in trust they should not be personal to us because in every relationship we are representatives of God.
Luke 7:47 (NLT) “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”
Luke 17:3-4 (NLT) So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. 4 Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”
Forgiveness, grace and mercy are the tools God uses to restore relationships. The sole mission of Jesus was to help all humans understand that their relationship with God is whole and therefore, living in unity with God is available and possible. It is a bad religious point of view to see humanity today as separated from God. The purpose of the gospel or good news is that any person can live a life in unity with God. Therefore, as we re-present God, when betrayal happens, we have the opportunity to die to self and forgive like the One we represent.
It is my encouragement that we understand the source of our loyalty. Only God, is good, and if we are open and sensitive to His Presence within, He can live through us. It is God’s desire for the entirety of humanity to understand that His forgiveness, grace and mercy have already made every human relationship with Him whole. In all relationships that we are the party to, we should likewise have this same goal when we perceive betrayal of trust. And that goal is to love and make every relationship whole.
If we can let go of the false belief that we never betray others and that others only betray us, we have a chance at peace on earth. Our false beliefs result in unreal expectations, which put others under undue pressure to live up to our unreal expectations. Our loyalty is a manifestation of God’s love and loyalty every time we forgive and extend grace and mercy.
Jeremiah 3131-33 (NLT) “The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the Lord. 33 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Therefore, our initial question remains standing. Where is your loyalty? Is our loyalty rooted in false beliefs? No! The true substance of our loyalty is embedded in love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. God gives these inherited traits to every human child. At the core of every relationship we are involved in, if we are actively aware, is the very Presence of God. It is there, where we shall find a treasure of evidence proving the existence of God.
Mark 10:2-9 (NLT) Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?” 3 Jesus answered them with a question: “What did Moses say in the law about divorce?” 4 “Well, he permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.” 5 But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. 6 But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. 7 ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, 8 and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, 9 let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
Luke 12:33-34 (NIV) Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.