Driving down highway 81, I noticed a small green sign that said “Loyal” with an arrow pointing to the right. It was late and I more than likely overlooked a road that led to the small town of Loyal, Oklahoma. As I continued down the road, I began to ponder the little green sign. It was almost as if it was an indication of how loyalty is being dismissed or pushed aside. Ironically, as of the 2000 census, Loyal is comprised of 81 residents. This extremely small town just off the beaten path is a representation of a bigger pandemic.
Loyal is an adjective defined by Merriam-Webster as “unswerving in allegiance”. Loyalty is a unconditional characteristic that is seen throughout history and has been an essential component in the rise and fall of many great kingdoms and nations. Loyalty is at the root of the very essence of most religions and has initiated the movement for many social and environmental causes. Natural born leaders often inspire loyalty among their constituents. Loyalty has led people to be martyrs, conquer opposing forces and change the world. However, I see an increasing lack of loyalty in our post modern society. Loyalty is often discounted as intolerance and closed mindedness in our world today.
The post modern era claims, “There are no absolutes”; “Tolerance is a start, but embracing acceptance is the key”; and “Truth is relative”. Postmodernism promotes pluralistic mindsets in the absence of unconditional truth. In my opinion, this is the source of loyalty’s demise. James 1:8 equates double-mindedness with instability. Jesus teaches us about two builders in Matthew 7. One man built his house on shifting sand, while the other built his on the Rock. In this parable, the house built on shifting sand, or a plethora of ideology and changing opinions, could not withstand the storm; however, the house built on the Rock, which is the Truth, was able to withstand the storms. To possess an unswerving allegiance to someone or something, one must BELIEVE in that to which he is loyal. Loyalty provides a sense of stability and purpose. Country Music artist, Aaron Tippin sings, “You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything…”!
Loyal people have become a small population off the beaten path and it is time to reconsider our feelings on loyalty and what the future looks like without it. There will come a time we will be accountable for what we believe, not what is popular or acceptable, but what we individually believe.
Will loyalty be a piece of the integrity that defines you? Are you loyal to someone greater than yourself? It is time to decide for what or to whom we are loyal.
VLM Staff - MN
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