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The Rewards and Benefits of Loyalty

Dear Good News Reader,

What is loyalty? It is faithfulness to commitments, obligations and promises. It is steadfastness to God, family, friends, employers, organizations and causes. It is knowing that others can depend on you at all times and in every way.

Years ago, loyalty was taught in the schools and in homes. But what has happened to such instruction today? It appears to have nearly disappeared along with loyalty itself. "Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is!" (Proverbs 20:6, Good News Translation).

For example, are elected officials loyal to the citizens, or do they often use their positions to seek personal prestige and power? Such troubling illustrations seem to be perpetually in the news. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why nine in 10 Americans (89 percent) give Congress negative ratings, according to an Oct. 25, 2010, report by Harris Interactive.

Also, is the lack of loyalty one of the reasons marriage covenants are so easily broken today? After promising to stay committed "until death do us part," 60 percent of marriages of couples between the ages of 20 and 25 end in divorce, according to statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Although it seems that few people understand why loyalty is necessary, our Creator says it is utterly essential in order to live a happy, successful life (Matthew 25:21). Loyalty offers many wonderful benefits and rewards. So, how can you and I exercise this indispensable character attribute? Here are four ways:

1) Be loyal to God and the truth of the Bible. Jesus Christ instructed His disciples to faithfully love God "with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37). And the apostle Paul encouraged the young minister Timothy to unwaveringly teach "the word of truth with precision" (2 Timothy 2:15, International Standard Version).

2) Be loyal to your family. Realize and appreciate that God created marriage as a divine institution (Mark 10:6-8), so remain lovingly committed to your mate. "Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate," Jesus said (verse 9). Also, since children are God's gift to you, devotedly nurture and educate them in true, godly values (Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 22:6).

3) Be loyal to your employer. The Bible exhorts Christians to resolutely support their employers. We are to be exceptional examples of loyalty, reliability and service (1 Timothy 6:1; Titus 2:9; Ephesians 6:5-8; 1 Peter 2:18). And, of course, Christian bosses are to be loyal and serve those who report to them (Ephesians 6:9; Matthew 20:25-28).

Writing about this important subject, Elbert Hubbard, an American philosopher and publisher (1856-1915) wrote, "If you work for a man, in Heaven's name work for him. If he pays wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him, speak well of him, think well of him, and stand by him, and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a man, I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of his time, but all of his time. I would give an undivided service or none. If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness."

4) Be loyal to your word. Do your utmost to keep your promises, commitments and obligations. Establish a reputation of always being responsible and dependable. Doing so will bring you personal peace of mind and well-being (Proverbs 13:17).

Strive to be loyal in everything. If you do, God will be pleased, others will benefit, and you will be rewarded since "a trustworthy person has many blessings" (Proverbs 28:20, God's Word).

The Good News magazine is dedicated to sharing and encouraging biblical values and Christian character. For more about loyalty and faithfulness, see "Faith and Faithfulness: Fundamental to Relationships and Responsibilities." If we seek and commit to this gift of God, we and all those around us will be blessed greatly!

John LaBissoniere
John LaBissoniere
Good News circulation manager



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