The two “Dangerous Definitions” of Loyalty we’ve discovered so far are:
- Loyalty = Unconditional Agreement.
- Loyalty = Telling me what I want to hear, rather than what I need to hear.
Like I said in the first installment of this series, I personally place a very high value on loyalty. Up or down, in good times or bad; if I’m with you – I’m with you. We may not always agree, but I’ve got your back.
But the question remains, “Is there ever a time that we need to withdraw our loyalty and walk away from a relationship?”
To answer that question, let’s look at our third and final “Dangerous Definition of Loyalty.”
Dangerous Definition #3:
Loyalty = Following me into the abyss.
This definition of loyalty isn’t just dangerous, it’s deadly.
It’s a perverted form of loyalty that requires your allegiance even when their life choices turn dangerous and threaten to abort your destiny. It’s both painful and sad when this happens, but it does happen.
“But how do I know where to draw the line?” That’s an important question.
Below I’ve listed 3 ways to know when a relationship has grown toxic and it’s time to withdraw your loyalty.
1. It’s Preventing You From Pursuing God’s Will For Your Life.
If a relationship is preventing you from pursuing God’s will for your life, it’s time to withdraw your loyalty from that relationship. Nothing should hold a higher priority for you than being in the Will of God. In Acts 5:29, the Apostle Peter made this priority clear when he said, “…We must obey God rather than men.” Our loyalty must first and foremost be to our Creator.
2. They Refuse to Learn From Their Mistakes.
Making mistakes makes us human.
That’s no reason to withdraw our loyalty from a relationship. But making the same destructive mistakes over and over again because they refuse to learn from them, doesn’t just make someone human, it makes them dangerous. It’s like being loyal to a tornado; it’s unpredictable and you never know when you’re going to get caught in its path.
Proverbs 13:20 says it this way, “…the companion of fools will be destroyed.”
3. Blatant sin with no desire for repentance.
Loyalty to people who are in open rebellion against God, with no desire for repentance is dangerous.
In the bible there was a man named Jonah who decided to rebel against God’s will (Jonah 1). Inevitably, Jonah’s choices invited a deadly storm into his life that not only impacted him, but everyone else that was with him on the boat. The people around Jonah lost time and cargo trying to keep him in their lives. It wasn’t until they withdrew their loyalty from Jonah that they finally got relief from “his” storm. Take a look:
“So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging” (Jonah 1:15).
[shareable cite=”@PastorTHall”]If someone else’s storm keeps becoming your storm, your loyalty may be misplaced.[/shareable]
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Note: The points in this blog are not intended to address the potential challenges in marriage. The Word of God has clear standards when it comes to keeping the covenant of marriage in tact and offers only a couple of exceptions to breaking that covenant (1 Corinthians 7:14-16, Matthew 19:9).