Christian Loyalty

Romans 12:10 NET - Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another.

Who do you consider to be your most loyal friends or associates?  Chances are you would only consider names that you believe have mutual love or loyalty toward you.  One of the most important and respected virtues in life is loyalty.  While blind loyalty to an evil ruler or an evil cause is not a virtue, in Romans 12:10, Christian loyalty is a supreme virtue that demonstrates the character of Christ in a way that builds up the church.  Unfortunately, in our larger culture of hyper-individualism (do only what I want), consumerism (what’s in it for me?), social media (what do others think of me?), and self-esteem (celebrating me first), the virtue of loyalty can be hard to find.  Loyalty to another person - or in this case the entire church at Rome - cannot be demonstrated apart from devotion.  A husband who is not devoted to his wife exclusively, is not a loyal husband.  A “fair-weather” friend who is usually available only when it suits his desires, is not a loyal friend.  A Christian who is not devoted to Jesus Christ - including to His body, the Church, is not a loyal servant of God.  Loyalty - your devotion to others with kindness, affection, and a desire to hold them in high esteem - is proven most during times of trauma and inconvenience.  Loyalty and devotion are cheap and easy to express when a relationship or situation meets your wants and desires, but true loyalty is costly - expressed when the pressure to be disloyal is greatest.  The harshest opposite of loyalty - betrayal - is considered one of the worst sins in the entire Bible.  Perhaps at a time when persecution tempted many to become disloyal to Jesus, it was crucial for the apostles to remind them that Christ does not take disloyalty to Him and His kingdom lightly.  Therefore, in Romans 12:10, Paul emphasizes the virtue of mutual devotion to one another in the Church (Christian loyalty) as a hallmark of how to live as a Christian.  Honoring one another above yourself is simply evidence that this loving loyalty is sincere.  How can you better love others?  Be loyal.  Are they Christians also?  Expect loyalty back.  How is Christian loyalty shown?  Esteem others more than self.  Honor all around!