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Loyalty

vs. Unfaithfulness
Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to God and to those He has called me to serve

Key Verse

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13

The operational definition of loyalty is “using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to God and to those He has called me to serve.” Being loyal is easy when everything is going well. But what happens when there are disagreements, personality clashes, misunderstandings, or trials? Are you willing to work out differences? Are you there for others in their times of need? When a friend strays from the ways of the Lord, do you lovingly bring it to his attention? (See Galatians 6:1.) When tragedy strikes, do you offer your help and support? (See I John 3:17.) When pressures come, do you take time to talk and pray together? (See James 5:16.) A loyal friend extends Christ’s love, no matter the cost. Committed in good times and bad—that is loyalty.

Those who signed America’s Declaration of Independence were loyal to America despite the great cost to them. Five of them were captured and tortured by the British. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Four lost their children. Nine fought and died from wounds or the hardships of the Revolutionary War. Others died in poverty. Still they stood for America, and their loyalty birthed a free nation.
Benedict Arnold attempted to betray his fellow Americans to the British. “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint” (Proverbs 25:19).

The opposite of loyalty is unfaithfulness. Difficulties often test our loyalty. When it is no longer convenient or beneficial for us personally, do we stay faithful to God’s call or back out to escape inconveniences? Realizing how much God sacrificed for us challenges us that no sacrifice is too great to make for Him. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (I John 3:16).

Evaluation Questions

  • Do I doubt God’s sovereignty during adversity, or do I draw nearer to Him during difficult times?
  • Are my words respectful of my authorities, or do I murmur, especially when I dislike their decisions?
  • Do I stand up for my family when others are speaking rudely of them?
  • Is the way I treat other believers as I would want them to treat me?
  • Am I committed to the success of those whom God has called me to serve?
  • Am I willing to lay down my life for others?
  • Do I encourage others to keep their marriage vows?
  • When I know someone is going through difficulties, do I take time to pray for him?
  • Even when I am busy, do I remain committed to be involved in family activities?

More About Loyalty

Loyalty is demonstrating our commitment to God by staying with those whom He has called us to serve.
Transformation results as we behold the Lord and yield to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). As we see God’s character through testimonies in Scripture, we grow in our understanding and obedience to His Word. Here are ten aspects of Loyalty with supporting verses found in God’s Word.

God enables me to:

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Be assured of His faithfulness.

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” II Thessalonians 3:3
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Serve my family and teachers.

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13
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Avoid mocking my authorities.

“Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.” Proverbs 20:20
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Point out the good in others.

“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.” I Thessalonians 1:3
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Encourage others in difficult times.

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” I Thessalonians 5:11
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Pray for peace.

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” I Timothy 2:1–2 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” I Timothy 2:1–2
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Be a true friend.

“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
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Support those who are distressed.

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27
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Keep my commitments.

“When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.” Deuteronomy 23:21–22 “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? . . . He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” Psalm 15:1, 4
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Strengthen my relationships.

“Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:2–3

Loyalty in Scripture

Ruth Chooses to Remain with Naomi

“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.”
Ruth 1:16
The nation of Israel was delivered by God from slavery in Egypt. God instructed the Israelites to worship only Him and to follow His leading to the Promised Land. In order to get to the Promised Land, the Israelites had to journey through the Canaanite country of Moab. The Moabites, however, did not worship the one true God. Instead, they worshipped an idol. They offered sacrifices to this false god, as if this man-made statue possessed power! Once Israel settled in the new land, the Moabites were a neighboring country. Over the years, these two nations were often in conflict. Yet, during the time when the judges ruled Israel before the reign of King Saul, the two warring nations experienced a period of peace. When a famine came upon Israel, one Israelite family relocated temporarily to the fertile grasslands of Moab. They hoped to escape the famine and live comfortably there. Once the famine ended, the plan was to return to the land God had provided them. What difficulties would befall this family while they dwelt in Moab? How would two women of Moab respond to these tragedies? What would one woman’s loyalty cost her during this time?

Revealed in Nature

Canada Goose

The Canada goose protects its nest from intruders and will even lay down its own life in defense of its lifelong mate. If a goose is shot by a hunter during the fall migration, its partner will return to find its mate, enduring the harsh winter until they are healthy enough to continue on.

For Kids

Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum

The Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum uses examples from the lives of men and women in the Bible whose walk with God resulted in good character or whose lack of faith produced poor character. Learning loyalty helps children understand that it is God Who enables us during difficult times to keep our commitments for the cause of Christ.

View the Loyalty booklet sample:

Get the complete Loyalty booklet with all four lessons & activities:

Free Resources for Loyalty

Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!

Bible Story Coloring Page
Verse & Definition Word Search
Related Hymn Sheet Music
“Loyalty is the one thing a leader cannot do without.”
A. P. Gouthey
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