Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Loyalty & the Scriptures

Loyalty is a legitimate word. Bessie and I were married for 58 ½ years. I loved her as Christ loved the church the last 54 years. The first four, I loved her selfishly. In both cases, I was loyal to her.

Loyalty is a weak word. Bessie would not have liked to know I was loyal; she expected and got a lot more than loyalty.

In the Navy, I had to take an oath of allegiance, part of which says, “I will defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, public and private.” In grade school, we were taught the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Those were required.

Where does Jesus require loyalty? Nowhere. He requires obedience. We don’t find loyalty in the Scriptures. That’s humanism. When I loved Bessie as Christ loved the church, that was obedience to God. God requires obedience.

Heb. 13:17: “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” Paul doesn’t use the word loyal at all.

Volunteering is not the greatest expression of love. Obeying is. But you get credit for volunteering, and you get no credit for obeying. People like to be in charge. Volunteering is one example of this; loyalty is another.

I was loyal to the Omaha South High School Packers or to the Naval Academy football team. These were volunteer loyalties; they were individual loyalties, choosing-up-sides loyalties. There was no foundational truth under them.

I may be loyal, but I do not use the word because there are more accurate words and stronger words. There are much better words: love, faith, hope, grace, faithfulness, truth.

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