It’s not totally forgotten but you’ve gotta look pretty hard these days to find it. I’ve seen, in my fairly short time on the planet, loyalty wane by quite a bit. It used to be pretty common, but not anymore. It doesn’t really matter where you look. A lot of the old-timers are still pretty loyal to either their Ford, or Chevrolet pickups. When it comes time to buy, they go with what’s served ’em well for years. But the younger generation is not nearly as loyal. But that’s just one simple example.
I think one of the root causes of this lack of loyalty is due to the fact that, as people, (and especially Americans) we’ve been spoiled. We want what we want, we want it now, and if we’re not getting it, and the quality is not ‘up to par’ of what we expect…..we go elsewhere. It seems to be true whether we’re talking about your brand of peanut butter, a restaurant, a relationship you’re involved in……or the church.
As a leader, and I think I’m speaking for most of that group, you learn to appreciate loyalty whenever, …..and wherever you find it. For us loyalty, and having people that you know you can trust to ‘stick it out’ with you no matter what,…..means just about everything! The lack of it can be ‘crippling’, to say the least. Real, genuine leadership is a very lonely place to be at times and knowing you have even a few who are loyal to the ’cause’, makes a ton of difference.
Jesus had to deal with the whole loyalty issue Himself. After once saying something that not everyone agreed with there was an exodus of people who didn’t like what He said. He looked at the Twelve and said, (paraphrased) “Are you guys gonna leave too?”. Their answer, at least this time, was a good one; “Where would we go, Lord……for it is You Who have the words of life.” His disciples didn’t always get it right…but they did this time. For those guys, to ‘jump ship’ now would be to miss their destiny and the reason they were on the planet in the first place!
It’s one thing to change brands of orange juice if you continue to be disappointed in the quality…..but to bail on your church when the going gets tough is an entirely different issue. God has a ‘place’ for you. There’ll be plenty of mountains and valleys; plenty of mistakes made by leaders; plenty of times you’ll wonder if you’re on track or not. But if He’s placed you there you need to ‘stay hooked’ until you absolutely know otherwise. Don’t miss your destiny,….and the reason you’re on the planet to begin with, because of your disloyalty!
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