I’ve been thinking lately about loyalty. In this present day, “Me first” society, self reigns supreme and virtues such as loyalty and courage seem ever so rare. According to the dictionary, loyalty is defined as “faithful adherence to a cause.” So, loyalty is faith-connected. And, a cause is required. Now, how does our dictionary handle the word, “cause?” One of the definitions is “a joint effort.” Hmmm… To accomplish a joint effort, one needs to set self aside for a greater good. So then, loyalty is dedication to something bigger than ourselves. And therefore, if self is elevated – loyalty is diminished. In fact, as a result, it is largely absent from our culture.
The first disloyalty in the universe occurred when Lucifer sought some self promotion. In the splendor of heaven, he had a good ranking – the anointed guardian of the throne of God. Up until that moment in pre-time only one will was in force. God’s will reigned supreme. Unchallenged. But, the moment Lucifer said “I will ascend to the throne,” a will contrary to God’s showed up on the radar. It had never happened before.(It occurs often now.) Promoting self moves us into independence and it is there we run into trouble. Like wandering sheep we go our own way.
You can still hear rumblings of loyalty in such places as a 12-step group, where the members depend on each other for support and accountability. But, on the whole, with the advent of the personal computer, the personal cell phone, and the privacy that head phones provide – loyalty to a cause beyond self, rarely emerges from hiding. For the Christian, this is an impossible dilemma. Because there is a cause before us… a joint effort. Jesus left us with orders… to go into the entire world and share the good news, making disciples. But he also said if we wanted to be His disciple, we needed to leave self behind. Jesus wants our loyalty. In fact, He demands it. He has every right to. He is King of Kings. To put “Me” first is to deny Him.
Over the centuries, there have been those who are willing to die for the cause. They are heroes of faith. We could use some heroes today who are willing to deny self… to lay it down for Him. Being a martyr becomes possible if we become used to dying. And dying to self out of loyalty to the King is something we should be doing everyday – the Nation of the Cross.