Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 20
“Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, “The LORD shall be between me and you, and between my offspring and your offspring, forever.” And he rose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.” (1 Samuel 20:42)
What is true loyalty? It is someone who upholds and speaks the truth upfront with clarity. A loyal friend is not a ‘yes-man’ who will do whatever they are told to do. Instead, true loyalty will stand up for what is right in all situations, even if that will mean a risky and difficult conversation.
We can see David’s and Jonathan’s relationship. In a time of dire distress where Saul envied David’s life and sought to kill him, Jonathan makes a difficult oath saying, “Whatever you [David] say, I will do for you” (1 Samuel 20:4). In making this decision, Jonathan had to betray his loyalty towards His Father. Jonathan did not do this without thought, but he did this because he knew that David was innocent and his father’s actions were wrong. Jonathan was loyal to righteousness.
In our relationships, we often long for loyal friends. But, firstly, are we loyal friends to others? To be a truly loyal friend means to deny ourselves for the sake of upholding the truth in our relationships. It means giving a stern word when our friends go astray. It means loving when it seems hard.
But what do we do when our friends betray us? It is easy to store up bitterness in our hearts. Doing so is sinful and harmful to our souls. We must remember our relationship with God. Have we ever been loyal to God? Yet, has He ever been disloyal to us? God forgives us repeatedly even when we forget about Him and live life in our own foolish ways. He never leaves us and continues to shepherd us to the right path.
Let us reflect on God’s loyalty. God always keeps His promises to us even when we break our promises to Him. We’ve promised to love Him more, to prioritise time with Him more, but we haven’t been able to keep our promises. On the other hand, God continues to keep His promises faithfully, never forsaking us and guiding us to life everlasting. He patiently waits for us to repent and turn to Him.
From God’s faithfulness, let us learn to be faithful to our friends, family, and brothers and sisters in Christ. Above these, let us be loyal to what is right and stand up for the truth. May God help us learn these things.
Lord, please teach us what true loyalty means. Forgive us for we are not loyal to You. We thank You for Your constant faithfulness to us. Have mercy on us, God, and restore us. Teach us also to be loyal to our friends, family and brothers and sisters in Christ. Teach us to glorify You through our relationships. In Jesus’ name, amen.