Jazmine Sullivan has a song called “#hoodlove,” that expresses her loyalty to her partner (I would not recommend sensitive ears listen to it lol). There is a song by Emelie Sande called “Breaking the Law,” which tells of how she will steal, speed, and even commit arson to make sure her lover is okay. There is also a list of rap songs I don’t know that talk about loyalty (and even gives consequences to those who aren’t loyal lol). I say all of that to say, we talk about it, we sing/rap about it, but are we loyal? Do we jump ship when it gets uncomfortable? Do we run the opposite way when we see trouble coming?
Our world has painted loyalty to be this thing where “I’m with you when you’re right and I’m with you when you’re wrong.” Transparency moment: I can’t be with you when you’re wrong, because I’m not interested in going to jail or dying today. I’m not a ride or die kind of friend. I’m more of a ride and call the police for help. Although, I can’t be with you, I can be for you. There are different versions of loyalty. My brother would literally go to jail for me, no questions asked. He knows I don’t do the jail so I would not be able to go for him but he knows I would give my last to get him out. Know the kind of loyalty the people in your life have for you.
In the words of my older sister, “not everyone deserves your loyalty.” Too often we’re loyal to the wrong people. The people who consistently hurt you and don’t even bother saying sorry. The people who never show up for you, no matter how many times you show up for them. Those people do not deserve your loyalty, they’ve shown you they don’t have any type of loyalty for you. You don’t have to hate them, but you have to learn to love them from a distance. I’m talking about being loyal to the people who know you are a struggling mess but choose to love you anyway, you all share a mutual respect for each other; and even though sometimes neither one of you get it right, you can say sorry and come back together. It takes a certain level of maturity to recognize the difference between the two people. Some good guiding questions to help you recognize the real are the following:
If they hurt me, will they say sorry?
If I could give them nothing in terms of material things, would they still be around?
If I really needed them, would they show up for me?
Would they stand up for me?
Would they accept my apology?
While you’re asking yourself about your friends and partners, ask yourself about you. Are you loyal to the people in your life? We want everyone to have our back but do we have theirs? It’s easy to think you’re in a loyal friendship, when the other person is making all the sacrifices, they’re doing all the calling, texting, liking, they’re always showing up. You’re always saying thank you, never you’re welcome. My friendships and relationships are very important to me. And I really thought I was a boss in this area, until one day I realized I was just an entry level employee when it came to loyalty. I was there for my friends if they REALLY needed me, other than that it was a hit or miss. I’m not of the belief you have to talk every day, or every week, but share a link to a story they may find interesting, like a status, send a text, every once in awhile it’s cool to make a phone a call (my least favorite lol). Do something to let that person know, you see them and care about them. It’s not all about the “big things” (going to jail, flying across the country, midnight emergency room visit, etc.). The little things help us stay connected so that we’re comfortable enough to face the big things together.
You know who is the most loyal person ever? You knew where this was going lol. Jesus is the most loyal of them all. Even though He knows we will mess up and at times not be for Him, He remains loyal. It’s His nature. If we’re going to be loyal to anyone, it should start with Jesus. We have songs that speak of our loyalty to God. Travis Green’s song “Prove My Love,” (only the real Travis Green fans will know about this one lol), tells of how he will do anything to prove that he loves God. Jonathan McReynolds has a new album out (that you should get), and the title track “Make Room,” shares that he will make room for Jesus because Jesus is most important. There is a hymn that says “where He leads me I will follow, I’ll go with Him all the way.” Do we live out the loyalty we sing about? Am I loyal enough to go to jail for Jesus? To die for the cause of Christ? We take this type of loyalty and give it to people who will fail us and when they do we forgive them and maintain a certain level of loyalty. Why not invest this loyalty in a God who will never fail, who no matter what you do, won’t leave you, who will love you through it all? While we’re out being loyal to everyone else, never forget, God has always been loyal and always will be.
2 Tim. 2:13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is (NLT)