Wednesday, 5 June 2019
Loyalty and Lasting Friendships
When we come to Yeshua, we have a covenant relationship in His blood. We are called to treat all brothers and sisters in Him with covenant loyalty. However, this does not become concrete unless we seek to be part of an extended community that expresses our new life in Yeshua. Indeed, life in Yeshua is communal. It is critical to find a community where the hearts of the leaders are committed to love and justice. We become loyal to leaders when we perceive their hearts. True allegiance to leaders means understanding and accepting that they will make many mistakes and show much imperfection. The true character of a leader is the more important matter. Matthew 18 presents us with a community rule so that a proper balance is maintained. Without this, trusting and loyal relationships are impossible. We are told to go to a brother or sister if they sin (against us in some versions) and to correct them alone. Then we go with another. We are not to spread evil reports about fellow members. Only after a process of seeking reconciliation may the community exclude the unrepentant person.
Our society is one of fleeting relationships. Even many marriages do not last. Covenant loyalty demands the opposite - a commitment to long term relationships. It is a wonderful thing to be part of the same team, congregation or stream of congregations for many years. I have always desired this to be part of my life. However, we should have an absolute loyalty to God above all. Sometimes His call requires us to move on.
We should not be surprised at the importance of loyalty. God is a covenant making and covenant keeping God. He keeps covenant loyalty to Israel forever. We can read of this in the stories of David and Jonathan, the disciples and Judas and so much more. This clarifies for us that God puts a high value on loyalty and covenant relationship of love. It is the substance of life's meaning.
This excerpt was taken from my article.