Regardless of my intentions, I have been guilty of all of these things, and I know I’m not the only one. None of us are perfect, but I found myself in need of a reminder this week that my faith isn’t only real when I’m surrounded by people who agree with it.
At church, it’s easy to talk about God. Walking into a building filled with other believers can feel like jumping into a pool on a hot summer day. Paul described this atmosphere of the body of Christ where believers should “let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:15-16).
At church, we won’t offend someone by talking about the God we love or discussing the faith we share. And that’s great. Really, it is.
But our God is not less present on Monday than He is on Sunday. He is always there. He sees what we do. He hears what we say. And He cares about all of it.
Thinking about my struggle with this, I felt compelled to put a name to it to help me understand my struggle better. I believe in God. I have faith in God. I love God. So, what is the quality I need to focus on to help me stay consistent from Sunday to Saturday and all the days in between?
There is no right answer. We could call it consistency. We could call it faithfulness. But we talk so much about each of these things in the Christian life that they sometimes lose their potency. I wanted a word that would stab me a little more—prick me a little deeper.
The word I found was loyalty.
Ouch. Ever since I thought about it, that word has been stinging my heart, and that’s how I know it’s the right one.
If I had a friend whom I visited every Sunday, most people would think I was a pretty loyal friend. But if throughout each week, I listened to people badmouth that friend without protest, I wouldn’t be loyal. If I spent all day Sunday assuring that friend I would do things throughout the week that I never did, I wouldn’t be loyal.
Perhaps the most famous example of this struggle with loyalty is Peter. The religious and political climate was scary for a follower of Jesus leading up to the crucifixion. In a situation where a follower of Christ would be mocked, persecuted, and possibly even killed, Peter denied having anything to do with Jesus (Luke 22:54-60).
Most of us don’t fear being put to death for following Christ, but our social climate is not exactly welcoming to Jesus and His teachings. For fear of being seen as haters, simpletons, or bigots, we sometimes shy away from talking about our God outside of the church.
Are you loyal to God? I think this is an area every follower of Christ needs a reminder of from time to time. No matter what day of the week we’re living right now, today is a day to praise our God and not be ashamed of Him. Today is a day to show God’s love to others, not hoard it all for ourselves.
How can we work on being loyal followers of Jesus today?
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