Linking Faith and Loyalty
Loyalty is a virtue that is linked to the biblical concept of faith. We tend to restrict or limit our understanding of faith to an act of believing, a kind of intellectual assent to the truth of a proposition. We know, however, that saving faith includes more than assent; it includes personal trust.
When we probe the depths of this trust, we discover that it is multifaceted. It is within the nature of trust that we see the link between faith and loyalty. Together, faith and loyalty yield fidelity. In our language, loyalty and fidelity serve as virtual synonyms.
Once, on an airplane, I sat beside Edward DeBartolo, the entrepreneur and owner of the San Francisco 49ers. I asked him what he valued the most in his employees and players. He answered without hesitation: “Loyalty!” On the surface, this may have been interpreted as the desire of a leader to be surrounded by “yes men” or a band of sycophants. But “yes men” are not really loyal. They are driven more by self-preservation than fidelity.
A faithful friend does not exhibit a blind loyalty that refuses to recognize the errors or faults in his or her friends or bosses. Rather, he or she exhibits the biblical love that covers a multitude of sins, remaining faithful in the midst of failure and shortcomings.
Coram Deo: Are you a faithful friend to others, despite their failures and shortcomings?
Proverbs 27:6: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
Proverbs 17:17: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Proverbs 18:24: “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks close than a brother.”