LOYALTY: A TRUE TEST OF FOLLOWERSHIP – PART 1

05
Nov

“Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Prov. 20:6)

Many don’t realize that loyalty is a major component of followership. Another word for loyalty is faithfulness. It can be defined as an ability to remain committed to a cause, person or persons no matter what happens. Loyalty is an attitude of devotion and duty to people, ideas and ideals.

In Christian service, loyalty plays a major role. Faithfulness is a requirement in stewardship. “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Cor 4:2). Every progressive organisation is progressive because it enjoys the support of loyal people. Whenever you see a leader who is excelling, it is because he has loyal followers. A local church can only thrive when it is blessed with faithful members whose aim is to serve and project the ministry work God has called them to do alongside the pastor.

So how do you know you are indeed following someone’s leadership? By your loyalty to them and their cause no matter the challenges or distractions. A loyal person is not deterred by any circumstantial incidence, he or she is too focused on the overall goal to be distracted.

Every sincere leader is not primarily looking for competent people but loyal people.

You can plan for a long haul with loyal people around you. One disloyal church member can “undo” the labour of many years. A disloyal person can set a group or an organisation backward by his or her actions or inactions.

The fact that someone is gifted does not mean they are loyal. A committed person is not necessarily a loyal person because he/she might just be committed because of his/her hidden agenda. However, it is impossible to be loyal and not be committed.

Loyalty is not known when things are rosy, it is tested when there is crisis or disagreement. “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Prov. 17:17).

We tend to celebrate leaders when we like what they do, but it is when trying times come, especially when we don’t like what they do, the true state of our heart towards them is exposed. We ought to endeavour to become more and more loyal to leaders and people God has placed in our lives. Over the years, I have endeavoured to be loyal to those whom God has given me as gifts, my pastors, my friends, my followers i.e. those I’ve been privileged to pastor etc. After all, what good is life lived in isolation from those God has chosen to lead, guide and instruct us? A life without loyalty is a life without a rudder…this is a life on a free drive, such a life is definitely set up for a crack or a crash, it is just a matter of time.

You can safeguard yourself if you know how to identify the characteristics of disloyalty, this will keep you in check and help you to be more loyal to those God has placed in your life.

Seven (7) Characteristics of disloyal people

They don’t like to submit to authority.
One important fact you need to know is this, leaders are not always right but that doesn’t mean you should not submit to them even when they are wrong. We must find a way to communicate what we view as “wrong” to them without arrogance when we perceive they are wrong. Once you find a leader worth following, then they should also have your unalloyed submission. Loyalty thrives on trust. “I’m loyal” means “I trust my leader enough to follow his sense of judgement” God does not reward rebellion to authority, he rewards faithfulness to authority.

They are over ambitious.
There is nothing wrong with being ambitious but when your ambition determines what you say or do, then it is not healthy. Ambition must be channeled in the direction of serving others better and not yourself. Disloyal people think about what they want or want to be only, how they go about it or the people they hurt in the process is none of their business.

Disloyal people like to gossip a lot.
The Scriptures say “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter” (Prov. 11:13). A tale bearer is a disloyal person, he does not know how to keep secrets. Their words are poisonous, they poison the minds of those who listen to them about others. “The words of one who says evil of his neighbour secretly are like sweet food, and go down into the inner parts of the stomach” (Prov. 18:8 BBE). They tell exaggerated stories of actions or activities of people to others. If anyone comes to talk to you about someone, you can be sure that that is exactly the way they will talk to others about you. Before you share an information with someone, ask yourself these two questions

“What is my motive? How profitable is this information to the hearer(s)?”

If your motive is wrong and you know such information will not benefit the hearer but rather poison his/her mind towards another, then it is not worth sharing.

We’ll look at the other characteristics in the next part.

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