Have you even been betrayed by someone? Has a person you know ever gone behind your back and brought a degree of destruction or hardship to your life? This is especially difficult if that person is someone you thought was your friend. You thought this person was loyal to you and would do whatever they could to help you, but you found out that wasn’t the case. Instead of that person being loyal to you and solidifying that friendship day after day, they were disloyal or unfaithful to you, and now the genuineness and reality of your relationship has been made known to you and to others.
If you’ve experienced something like this, or you are experiencing something like this right now, I can honestly say that you are not alone. Jesus, just prior to His crucifixion, faced something exactly like I’m describing and what you have experienced, or are experiencing.
Quality friendships practice loving loyalty
The author of Proverbs reminds us of this truth in Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” At all times – what does that imply? A friend is loyal in the good times and in the bad times. It’s not the circumstances that make that friend loyal, it’s his/her character, the kind of person they really are, that makes them loyal.
Realistically, it’s the circumstances that reveal the true character of the person you call your friend. It’s easy to be a good friend when the blessings of God are pouring down and things are going well for you and your friend. But the real test is how you or your friend responds during times of trial or temptation. It’s when the pressure is on and things aren’t going well that prove the genuineness of your friendship. Knowing the effects of the curse of sin in all of our lives, problems are going to come up (they are a part of life), and problems need to be solved, or trials need to be handled, in a biblical manner. The reason problems can be resolved or a trial handled in a way that brings glory to God is the bond of LOVE which is the foundation for loyalty. This love is a choice; it’s an act of the will; it’s a decision to choose to sacrifice whatever is necessary to bring glory to God!
Loyalty is willing to confront areas that are wrong
Nobody likes to be told, “You are wrong, and you need to change.” But, if you are not pleasing God by thinking and acting like Christ, then someone needs to love you enough, and be loyal to you, and tell you the truth. A great verse to help us with this is Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” A real friend is a loyal friend – a friend that will confront you if you are sinning, or if your friend is not sure if what you’re doing is sinful, he/she will be loyal to you and at least ask you if what you are doing is please to God. This process is actually described in Galatians 6:1-2 “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.”
Do your friends ever confront you about your life? Are you willing to confront your friend if he/she is sinning? If your friend is struggling through a trial or difficulty, are you going to be there for them to help them through that situation and encourage them to respond in a way that brings glory to God?
Loyalty offers biblical advice that helps
My friends help me the most when they offer biblical advice that helps me to grow and change to be more like Christ. Once again, Proverbs has a great verse that deals with this very subject: Proverbs 27:9 “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.” That counsel has to be biblical and pleasing to God, but it does make an impact. In fact, this verse is describing a friend who encourages others to do right thing, not the easy thing. Jesus had a Judas (a disloyal and unfaithful friend). All the other disciples forsook Him and fled, but they did repent and showed their loyalty by giving their lives to advance the kingdom of Christ.
Are you a loyal friend? Do you have loyal friends?