Thoughts on loyalty and choosing sides

This is a re-post of a note I published July 12, 2014 on Facebook. I am transferring my notes from Facebook into my Float the River blog.

In my mind, teenage girls are the epitome of emotional loyalties and taking sides. Ask any youth pastor about camp drama! As adults we don’t play such games. Well, only unless it pertains to our sports teams. I couldn’t stand Danny Ainge until the Suns signed him. Somehow my attitude changed immediately! The same thing happened when It was rumored that LeBron James might come to the Suns. Suddenly I was on the road to being his biggest fan and supporter! I loved Dusty Baker…until the second after he became the Giants manager. Seriously, what was he thinking?! Is there NO loyalty?!

I was reading 1st Samuel 20 this morning and was brought face to face with the issue of loyalty, relational faithfulness, and taking sides. While we may mask it better than your average teenage girl, it is a pressure we all face from time to time.

A few thoughts on the relational triangle between David, Jonathan, and Saul.

1) Jonathan was able to be loyal to both his father and king Saul as well as to his friend David.

2) Jonathan gave his father the benefit of the doubt and believed the best about him. He gave Saul the opportunity to prove himself. He did not depend on here-say in rendering judgment.

3) David wasn’t threatened by Jonathan’s faithfulness to his father and king. It did not matter that David knew Saul had it out for him.

4) David didn’t allow the sinfulness of Saul to influence his commitment to Jonathan, nor did Jonathan allow David’s mistrust of Saul to sour their friendship.

5) Jonathan didn’t allow any possible future ramifications to influence him. He didn’t allow even his commitment to his father or his fear of him as the king deter him in his friendship with David.

6) Even after Saul revealed his true heart towards David, Jonathan remained a faithful son to his father and servant of him as king without betraying his friend David. He was able to be faithful to Saul without condoning his sinfulness. He died following his father and king into battle.

God-honoring relationships are challenging. It is easy to opt for the neat and tidy rather than the difficult and messy. I am discovering within myself that usually neat and tidy is a self-focused rather than a Christ-focused response to others. May God give me the heart and wisdom within myself to carry the weight of relationships as Jonathan did.

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