Beyond Loyalty

Our lives will bear the fruit of His nature, the fruit of the Spirit, that includes His faithfulness expressed in our lives.

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Yesterday, Jan and I spent some time with friends. During our conversation, one of our friends spoke about loyalty and faithfulness and said that faithfulness was a greater virtue than loyalty. I had to agree. Our conversation continued not as an exercise of nit-picking the meaning of words but as a discussion about our own experiences where we struggled with expressions of misdirected loyalty. Those expressions of loyalty kept us trapped in unhealthy relationships until faithfulness to the Lord and His truth caused us to walk away from the demands of those unhealthy loyalties into a new season of freedom where faithfulness to God took the lead.

Loyalty has a noble aspect, but it can warp into bondage when unchallenged loyalty is required to be part of a relationship or a group. When an unchallenged loyalty “to the cause” is required whatever the cause may be, we have entered dangerous waters. We all love stories of loyalty, but loyalty can only be expressed in a healthy way when it is in submission to the greater virtue of our faithfulness to God above all earthly loyalties. 

Faithfulness is the nature of God. “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is” (II Timothy 2:13). The Lord is repeatedly referred to as faithful in Scripture, not loyal. As the Lord’s spiritual offspring, our lives will bear the fruit of His nature, the fruit of the Spirit, that includes His faithfulness expressed in our lives.

Those who choose to place faithfulness to God above loyalty to people or groups many times are labeled as rebellious by those still living trapped in unhealthy expressions of loyalty. Those who have been motivated by faithfulness to God above all else are the ones He will use to write and, in some cases, rewrite history. Faithfulness to God is a high and challenging calling. It will express our ultimate allegiance.


This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins

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About the Author

Garris Elkins is a Kingdom Winds Contributor. He and his wife, Jan, serve the global Church through writing, speaking, and mentoring. They live in southern Oregon, tucked away in the foothills of the Rogue Valley. Their shared desire is to have each person learn how to hear the heart of God and become a transforming voice in their culture.

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