A Loyal Friend

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“Many will say they are a loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?” Proverbs 20:6

I have a friend whom I have known for 20 years. We met in fifth grade and have trudged through our teens and twenties together with both grace and calamity. I am not sure how I could have made it through some of the seasons I have faced thus far without her prayers and friendship. Given all the ups and downs that the last two decades have brought, how does a friendship last?

Loyalty is a dying art in this day and age. As people move and change, they use their feelings to determine who or what they stay connected to. If you fall out of love, or a person stops making you feel happy, you move on. If the church you attend deviates from your personal preferences―time to shop around. The job you’re at is starting to feel like a chore―let the interview process begin. We as a society are constantly looking for the next thing to bring us fulfillment, and we are ready to ditch anything that stops delivering the goods.

But we are not to be ruled by our emotions. We are a spirit with a body and soul, let’s not confuse the order of things.

Loyalty says that I am going to deny myself immediate satisfaction in order to seek the Father in this area.

When we remain loyal we commit to staying the course in a season of chaos or dissatisfaction.

Going back to my long-time friend, I remember a time in high school (about 7 years into our friendship) when loyalty was what kept us together. Overall, I was not a great friend. I had little to no friendship skills and it showed when I fell in love for the first time. I was 16 and dating for the first time. My boyfriend began to consume all of my free time. I remember talking about him constantly, wanting to spend each day with him and neglecting my (real) friendships with other girls. Instead of writing me off in her hurt, my friend confronted me. She and another dear friend of mine held an intervention of sorts in the guidance counselor’s office to tell me how they felt. That may seem melodramatic―and maybe it was, but the intent behind it stuck with me. These girls were taking a stand and declaring loyalty to me even when I wasn’t being loyal to them.

Because we have chosen, at different times, to remain loyal regardless of the other’s season or participation in the friendship, we have a very strong relationship. We are now helping each other through the trenches of early motherhood. Our friendship has been built brick by brick. We have history and layers of trust that have been created over time. This allows a level of honesty and transparency that seldom appears in new friendships. 

 Loyalty helps to produce the fruits that take longer to blossom.

Loyalty will sustain you in times when ending the relationship would be easier.

When it gets hard, press into the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. One of two things will happen. He will give you revelation that it is time to end the connection and equip you with the why and how, or he will refine you and develop character in you to ride out the rough patch. Both options will be wrapped in peace though, so look for that. The bottom line is pray first. Through the prayer time you will develop loyalty or healthy boundaries and greater discernment. Either way, your emotions will have to submit to your spirit, the (super) natural order of things.

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