Loyalty refers to the quality of being faithful to one's commitment in life. In other word loyalty means a strong feeling one has in support of another or something.

Loyalty demands one to be truthful devoted and to have the love and the obligation to obey that state of allegiance where one is showing their commitment.

 Types of Loyalty

There are various types of loyalty. This depends on the individual and the dimension of life such as family or clans, clubs, marriages and nations. Loyalty may therefore fall under the following categories.

1. Divine Loyalty

This refers to the commitment one has towards his or her religion. In other words, it is the commitment one has in seeking for the understanding of God through the different beliefs such as Christianity, Islam and others.

2. Cultural Loyalty

This is one's commitment to his or her cultural values and norms. Being obedient to a given way of life in a given society shows this kind of commitment. It depends on the clan, language, customs and the tribe.

3. Social Loyalty

This is a commitment one has to his or her responsibilities in life. It may be work, leisure and education among others.

4. Group Loyalty

This is one's commitment to a given group of people having the same interests for the benefits of all such as parents and their children to families, leaders to their subjects and others. It concerns the life of an individual in relation to another.

5. Personal Loyalty

This is one's commitment to another for peaceful and harmonious living. Such a commitment and faithfulness may include husband and wife, parents and children and others.

Loyalty in the present situation

The concept of loyalty today does not differ much from what it used to be in the traditional African society. People have commitments and act upon them for different purposes depending on their needs. Loyalty is therefore being expressed in different ways including the following.

People today are loyal to their different religions. This is done in search for a deeper understanding of God through constant prayers, repentance and bible study among others.

Parents today are showing loyalty to their children. They provide them with the basic needs such as food, shelter and education among others.

3. Different individuals are committed to their jobs. They serve the community in different ways as teachers, doctors, engineers, nurses, lawyers and others.

4. Children also express loyalties to their parents. They respect, love, listen and support them in any possible way like cooking food, buying food, clothes, cleaning the compound and others.

People are committed to formal education. Many schools, colleges and Universities are being opened with many people joining them. This is in search of enough skills and knowledge and a way of fighting illiteracy in the society.

Up to date, people are still loyal to their cultures. They respect and observe the customs, norms and the rituals. These cultural aspects are a way of creating the sense of belonging and identity.

Quite a great number of people are loyal to leisure activities such as playing and watching football, net, ball, attending parties, dancing and others. These activities are important in refreshing one's mind and creating good relationships among people.

People today are loyal to their leaders. They respect and follow their leadership obediently. Such leaders may include the President, chiefs, kings, local councils and others.

Some couples are loyal to their marriages. They love, respect and accept their status as husbands and wives as a way of keeping their marital vows.


Disloyalty refers to a situation where an individual fails to give support to his or her friends, family or country. In such a case one is not committed and is unfaithful to the welfare of others. Such cases include the following.

There is an increasing level of corruption today. This is disloyalty because the individual uses public facilities for his or her gains living the rest of the population to suffer.

Some married couples are disloyal by engaging in adultery. This is lack of faithfulness and commitment to the marital vows, which are against the couples having sexual intercourse outside the marriage circle.

Some youth despise their cultures. They argue that such cultures are out dated in preference for the Western cultures. This has left most youth out of touch with their true identities.

The various cases of mob justice are a disloyalty. The victims of mob justice are at times punished innocently. There is also lack of commitment in following the right course in the judicial system.

Rape is also a disloyalty common today. In such cases, the consent of the victim is not sought, but one chooses to use force in order to achieve sexual satisfaction.

Abortion is another example of disloyalty today. In such a case, the expectant mother deliberately removes the unborn child from the womb before it is capable of independent living. This denies such a child the right to live. It is also a sin before God.

 Some parents have always been disloyal to their children by abusing their rights. Children under this category are denied education, medical care, and clothing and at times-subjected to child labour. This affects the growth of children negatively.

Defilement is an example of disloyalty. This is disrespectful to the victim who is not yet ready for sexual intercourse.

The oppression and exploitation of women today shows lack of commitment in life. Women are continuously beaten, divorced, looked at as sex objects and are subjected to all) sorts of tortures. This is a failure to recognize that all human beings are created in God's image and therefore equal.

Some individuals are disloyal by carrying out strikes as a way of solving disagreement. These strikes common in institutions and different premises of work indicate that such individuals are not faithful to the rules and regulations governing them.

11. Carrying out arbitrary arrest is an example of disloyalty in life. In such a case, the victim may be detained without having committed any crime. This is therefore lack of commitment in serving others.


Conflicting loyalty refers to a situation where an individual is faced with two or more contrasting areas of where to show commitment. This makes it difficult for one to make a choice in the process of showing loyalty. For Christians, such conflicts in loyalty may include the following.

Loyalty to one's Job besides God. Man is always pre - occupied with work because of the need for survival. But a Christian should also spare some time for God.

It is difficult to pay loyalty to God in times of difficulties or tragedies such as death, earthquakes, accidents, and wars. In such cases, Christians tend to question whether God is for them or against them.

A Christian would face conflicting loyalty when it comes to choosing between his or her families and the public service. Some jobs which are highly paid keeps the parents away from home and yet the children need parental guidance.

A Christian judge would face conflicting loyalty when it comes to passing a death sentence. As a Christian, no one is to pronounce judgment on the other arid yet he or she should execute the duty if he or she is to abide by the country's laws.   

African Christian couples face conflicting loyalty in case of childlessness in marriage. For each partner, it becomes difficult to choose between being loyal to the marriage vows or doing without being able to get children.

African Christians also face conflicting loyalty in reconciling the cultural rituals and the Christian faith. It is important for Africans to observe these rituals representing their origins, but at the same time observe the Christian faith that unfortunately do not agree with each other.            

Christians face conflict in loyalty when someone has caused pain to him or her or their relatives. In this case, it becomes difficult for a Christian to choose between revenge and forgiveness.

Christians can also experience conflict in loyalty when looking for jobs, which are nowadays associated with bribery, witchcraft and sexual exchange. In such a case, a Christian is to choose to remain loyal to God or being jobless.

Christians of nowadays are facing conflict in loyalty whether to engage in political activities fully or concentrate on the' pastoral service only. In politics, there are injustices which demand the Christians to condemn, but such activities are again divisive in nature.

Christians working under corrupt bosses are always faced with conflict in loyalty. In such a case, a Christian must choose between doing what he or she is told by the boss like telling lies, such that he or she retains the job or to remain loyal to God and losses the job.

Some Christians because of their academic knowledge and technology question the existence of God. Such a Christian feels that he or she is capable of answering questions that defeat others and therefore sees no need for God. At the same time, some forces of nature including death and others may defeat him or her.

Causes of Conflicting Loyalty

A number of factors are responsible for the existing cases of conflict in loyalty today. In such cases, one is caught up between two or more contrasting and interesting aspects of life occurring at the same time with each the good and the bad sides. This makes it difficult for an individual to take a stand because of the fear of losing on the other side. The causes of such conflict in loyalty include the following.

Some loyalties today require a lot more time than the others. For example, parents working in public offices are always busy from morning to sun set because they need the money to sustain the family: This is done at the expense of the family members who are not attended to. This makes it difficult for one to divide time equally.

There are too many areas that call for people's loyalty today. This may include one's culture, family, job, leisure or religion. To make it worse, such loyalties call for one's attention almost at the same time. One is therefore placed in a situation where he or she cannot make a proper choice.       

Conflict in loyalty is caused by the existence of African cultures besides western cultures. Some consider African cultures as out dated, but others still emphasize the need for observing them. This leaves an individual in a state of confusion making it difficult for one to choose.

Bad examples shown by the leaders are also causing conflicting loyalty. This may include parents, priests or pastors and others. This is made worse when such leaders behave contrary to their words. This ends up confusing the followers as to which way to take.

Economic hardships more especially poverty amidst the need for survival is also responsible for conflict in loyalty today. One may be disloyal by engaging in corruption, strikes, and robbery because one wants to survive. This means that if one is to be loyal, one must suffer. If one were to be disloyal, one would save himself or herself from suffering.

Too much permissiveness is another factor causing conflict in loyalty. In this case, having too much freedom of doing whatever one wants may make an individual loose track and fail to comply with the various commitments.

The existing generation gap today has ended up causing conflicting loyalty. This is particularly true with the youth having the feeling that the ideas or ways of life in the olden days are out dated and yet they have to follow them if they are to show commitment to their elders.

The influence of the peers can also cause conflict in loyalty. This is especially true in cases where the group mates give advice which is different from what is required by the rest of the community. In such a case, one is confused as to whether to follow the ideas of the peers or remain loyal to the demands of the community and loses the company of his or her peers.

Being in contact with different people who have different ideas or views in-life causes conflicting loyalty. The various ideas may confuse an individual to a point where he or she can fail to take side.

The modern education is also causing conflicting loyalty. The education is creating social class of the literates and the illiterates. The education system also tends to detach people from the reality on ground. This contributes to the failure of people to show faithfulness to one another.  

11. Conflicting loyalty is being brought by the different goals and visions people have in life.

For example, a parent who is a doctor may force his or her child to take science subjects, yet such a child has the vision of becoming a lawyer. This ends up confusing the child who must obey the parent at the expense of his or her ambition.

Lack of religious morals or teachings is another factor responsible for conflicting loyalty. Religious teachings such as patience, hope, prayers, calmness, and respect for one self and others are not always put into practice. Because of this, people tend to lose their senses and fail to act on their various commitments in life.

Solutions to conflicting loyalty

The conflicts in oneself created by different disloyalties in life can be solved in the following ways:

        One should have respect for oneself, others and above all respect for the society values.

        One should seek and accept advice from other members of the community.

        A person should be guided by a well-informed and. developed conscience that is based on values and principles

        One should first be faithful to oneself so as to avoid getting confused.

        One should go for counselling and guidance such that he or she is given a sense of direction.

        One should constantly pray to God with God everything is possible     

        One should be patient in life. This puts one in a position of accepting things as they are.

        One should have the spirit of tolerance or perseverance in dealing with any situations.

        One should obey his or her self-conscious and stick to what he or she believes is right.

        On should control his or her speeches while relating with others. This helps in avoiding making statements that are contradictory.

        One should have the heart of forgiveness. Even if some wrong had been done onto him or her, one must be able to reconcile.

African Traditional Attitude to Loyalty 

1. Loyalty in traditional Africa meant having a sense of duty, being eager and ready to defend one's community. Each individual was expected to respond positively and fulfill his or her legal duties.     

2. Loyalty to the traditional Africans meant being faithful, trust worthy and dependable. This was reflected in the communal way where each individual had to rely on one another in the daily life activities.

3. Loyalty in traditional Africa was understood as taking the side of another member in a dispute even if it involved suffering and hardship. This meant that even when one had committed an offence, he or she had to be supported through revenging on the wrong done to him or her

4. To the traditional Africans, loyalty meant sharing all the obligations (moral or legal duty to do something) and privileges of the group. They had to help one another in an effort to realize peaceful living.

5. Loyalty in traditional Africa was used in the context of one's group like the family, clan or a wider community. Individuals had to show total submission, faithfulness and commitment to all the affairs of the group without fear.

6. Loyalty in African traditional was understood as having respect for one's leaders. Leaders were regarded to be God's representatives on earth. This demanded their absolute loyalty.

7.  Loyalty in traditional Africa meant keeping an agreement such as a blood pact. Breaking an oath (or agreement) was a taboo and was highly punishable. Therefore, all members had to keep such agreements as a sign of showing commitment in life.

8. In traditional Africa, loyalty was working for the good or for the benefit of the community.

Individualism was discouraged and each member had to contribute towards the welfare of all.    

9. In traditional Africa, loyalty meant promoting one's cultural values. Cultures reflected the identity of the society to which one belonged. It was therefore the duty of each individual to show commitment to the existing cultures. This was aimed at creating the sense of belonging.

10. Loyalty in African traditional society was understood as giving respect to religious values and the spirits of the dead. This was considered a direct way of seeking blessings.

 How loyalty was shown in African traditional society

l. Traditional Africans were loyal to their leaders such as Kings, chiefs, clan leaders and others. Leadership was linked to the existence of God and the leaders were considered God’s representation

2. Traditional Africans were loyal to sacred places like mountains, forests and rocks among others. They offered sacrifices in such places either to thank or seek blessings from God.

3. The traditional Africans were loyal to sacred object such as' beads, stones, bones, herbs, royal drums and stools. Such objects were believed to provide protection and guidance more especially during difficulties like wars, famine, sickness etc.

4. The traditional Africans showed loyalty to the spirits of the living dead who were considered nearer to God. They offered sacrifices and even named places and children after them.

5. The traditional Africans showed loyalty to friendship more especially blood brother hood.

Each member in such friendship was meant to defend one another at all times.

6. Loyalty in African traditional society was shown to the supreme God and gods. They believed that these divine beings were behind the existence of everything in the universe. Therefore, they had to be loyal to them by praying, offering sacrifices and building shrines among others

7. The traditional Africans showed loyalty to marriage relationship. Marriage was a compulsory social aspect of life. Each  member of the community to fulfill this obligation as sign of commitment.

8. The traditional Africans were loyal to religious leaders such as diviners, rainmakers and fortunetellers. Such individuals were; regarded to be the light of the society because of having super natural powers and their services to society.

9. The traditional Africans were loyal to parenthood. All married partners had the responsibility of producing and raising children in a way accepted in the community.

10. The traditional Africans showed loyalty to customs and norms of the society. This created the spirit of togetherness and guided them in relating to one another.      

11. Loyalty in traditional Africa was shown to informal education. Every member participated in the upbringing of children. Because of this collective responsibility, discipline was highly maintained

12. The traditional Africans constantly prayed and worshipped God or gods in showing loyalty. This formed the basis of their lives in thanking and seeking blessings.

Importance of Loyalty in African Traditional Society

 Loyalty in traditional Africa created unity and a strong sense of belonging. This was because all members in the community were bound to specific cultures or way of life.     

Loyalty in traditional Africa discouraged individualism. All resources were owned communally for the benefits of all. This provided solution to problems such as famine and stealing among others.

 Loyalty instilled a sense of duty and responsibility among the traditional Africans. Each member was therefore faithful to any undertaking of the community.

Loyalty in traditional Africa promoted peace and harmony. This was because each member observed and preserved the customs and norms of the community. This ruled out misunderstandings among the members.

Loyalty guaranteed security against threats or attacks on one member by another. This was because each member had to defend another even when one was' wrong.

Loyalty in traditional Africa helped to preserve the cultural set up. Disloyalty to the community's affairs was highly punishable. Each member therefore showed loyalty to the existing, cultures.  

Loyalty promoted easy running of the community's affairs. This was because all members were faithful and obedient to the set norms.

Loyalty helped to promote the moral behaviour of the traditional Africans. Any member misbehaving could easily be ex-communicated or disowned by the society. This made all the members to strive towards loyalty.

Loyalty ensured stability in traditional Africa. This was made possible by each member defending a personal loyalty to parent, husband, wife, children, blood pact and relatives.

Loyalty prevented unnecessary competition among the traditional Africans. Members lived as a group and shared the basic needs of life in almost an equal proportion.

Loyalty created a strong sense of justice in African traditional society. Their faithfulness and devotion made them to respect one another in all ways.

Loyalty in the Early Church

Christians in the early history of the church had to be loyal to the government of the Roman Empire and the' work Jesus Christ had started. This was because Christ himself recognized the Roman authorities and because the Roman, government had also created peace and constructed good roads, which made the work of the apostles or disciples easier. The apostles (disciples) showed their loyalties more especially after the Pentecost [the day the apostles received the Holy Spirit as seen below.  

The apostles were loyal to preaching the gospel that Christ had already started. They preached with joy and courage in an effort to extend to the God of kingdom.

The Christians were also loyal to prayers. They prayed for those governing them and even for the work they were doing.

The early Christians showed loyalty to the rule of the Roman government. They paid taxes promptly by following Jesus teaching –“give to Caesar what is Caesar's and God what is God's. [Mark 12: 13-17]

Some Christians were committed to writing Christian literatures. For example, the apostles like Paul and Mark wrote the New Testament explaining the life, teachings of Christ and encouraged fellow Christians in their faith.

Christians showed loyalty-to God as their only father. They suffered persecution and refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods of the Roman Empire because of their loyalty to Christ and the oneness of God.

Some Christians carried out charitable work in showing loyalty. They helped the needy such as the sick, widows, disabled and others with material things like food and shelter.

Christians were also loyal to the practice of baptism. This was a symbolical expression of one accepting Christ as their personal savior. This was done following the instruction of Jesus of making all people children of God.

Some Christians carried out fellowship in showing loyalty. They could gather together, share their experiences and encourage one another to remain firm in their faith.

Other Christians were loyal to the missionary journeys. Christians such as St. Paul and Titus moved to distant places while preaching the good news.

Some Christians performed miracles in showing loyalty. They healed the sick. This made people believe in the reality of the gospel started by Christ.

Christians were also loyal to founding churches. They established permanent structures to accommodate the ever-increasing number of Christian converts.

Other Christians were loyal to sharing their belongings with others. This was an effort aimed at preventing the suffering of the people.

The Loyalty of the Uganda Martyrs

Uganda recorded the idea of martyrdom beginning, with the killing of Muslims by the Kabaka of Buganda for their failure to respect his authority. Ten years later in 1886, a large group of Christians were executed on the order of Kabaka Mwanga when they decided to obey God other than the rule of the Kabaka.

The Uganda martyrs therefore expressed their loyalties in the following way.

The Uganda martyrs' accepted to be baptized. This was the first step they took to show that they were Committed in their newly acquired faith.

The Uganda martyrs expressed loyalty by abandoning other gods and believing the one true God. This meant that they had also disassociated themselves with their cultures since it was the tradition to believe in many gods.

The Uganda martyrs expressed loyalty by suffering to the point of giving their lives for the sake of Christ. They allowed to be burnt without fear.

The Uganda martyrs praised God at the time they were put to death. This was the highest level of loyalty to the newly acquired faith.

The Uganda martyrs expressed loyalty by leading prayerful lives. They prayed to God help them in all situations and even prayed for those executing them.

The Uganda martyrs showed loyalty by refusing to take the orders of the Kabaka. They refused to engage in homosexuality as demanded by the Kabaka and even, refused to abandon their Christian faith before they met their death.  

The Uganda martyrs showed loyalty by preaching the good news continuously despite the oppositions from the traditionalists and the Muslims.

The Uganda martyrs were loyal to helping the needy such as the poor, widows, disabled and others. This was contrary to what used to be the case where such people were under looked.

The Uganda martyrs lived exemplary lives in showing their loyalty. This helped to shape the behaviors of others who copied their examples.

The Ugandan martyrs played great roles in establishing the catholic and protestant church. They laid a strong foundation of the church, which later served many devoted Christians.

The Ugandan martyrs expressed loyalty by fellowshipping. They would gather together and share their Christian experiences and encourage one another to remain faithful to the new faith.

The Old Testament Teaching on Loyalty

As already noted, loyalty means being faithful to what one considers important in life. This may include families, schools, friends, churches, nations and others. In other words, one has to be faithful to existing relationship and be ready to devote oneself to the good of another. This should involve commitment and giving oneself in support of the other.

In the Old Testament, one should look at the relationship between God and the Israelites in order to understand the concept of loyalty, For the Israelites, loyalty meant being faithful to God and to each other. The covenant relationship was the basis of living with God and among them.

God's loyalty to the Israelites

The call of Abraham was God's loyalty to the Israelites. It was through this call that Israelites became the chosen nation. God even signed an agreement with Abraham, guided arid protected him in the course establishing Israel as a holy nation. (Genesis 12 - 15).

God showed his loyalty to the Israelites through the call of Moses. In this call, God commanded Moses to go and liberate the Israelites from their suffering under the Egyptian slavery (Exodus 3: 16 - 17). This was also a fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham -Israel's grandfather (Genesis 12).

God showed his loyalty to the Israelites through the pass over event. This was a new initiative on the part of Yahweh to show the Israelites that he loved them and had their welfare at heart. God killed all the Egyptians first born babies and spared the Israelites children. This made the pharaoh to release the Israelites and ended their term of suffering (Exodus 12: 1 ff)

God showed his loyalty by providing food in the form of water, manna and quails to the Israelites. This happened as the Israelites moved to the Promised Land through the wilderness. (Exodus 16: 4 ff, 17: 1-7).    

God demonstrated his loyalty to the Israelites at the crossing of the Red sea. He divided the Red sea into two parts and allowed the Israelites to pass through, but the Egyptians were drowned as they pursued (Exodus 14: 1 ff).

In his loyalty to the Israelites, God signed a covenant at the foot of Mt. Sinai. In this agreement, God gave the Israelites laws to guide them and promised to remain their father if they would be obedient. (Exodus 19: 1 ff and 20 - 23).   

God demonstrated his loyalty by giving victories to the Israelites over hostile tribes and nations. This included the Canaanites; Amalekites, Amorites, Jebusites and others (Exodus 17: 8 ff and Deuteronomy 7: 1 ff).

God gave the Israelites kings as their physical leaders as a way of expressing His loyalty. The kings like Saul, David and Solomon were to rule on behalf of God. (1 Samuel 8:1 ff).

Related to the above, God punished the Kings who were misleading the Israelites. For example, God rejected King Saul for committing crimes against the Israelites. (1 Samuel 15:10 ff). God also punished King Solomon for worshiping idols and influencing the Israelites to do the same. (1 Kings 11: 9 - 11).

God demonstrated his loyalty by sending prophets to guide the Israelites against sinning. These prophets like Jeremiah, Amos and Isaiah helped the Israelites to understand the true meaning of commitment to God. (Jeremiah 7: 1-11 and Micah 6:6-8

In His loyalty, God promised the Israelites the messiah through the line of King David. This was intended to bring salvation to mankind. (Isaiah 9: 6ff, II: 1-12, and 2 Samuel 7:12-16). This was later fulfilled through the birth of Jesus Christ. [Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-11)

God expressed his loyalty by giving King Solomon great wisdom with which he ruled the Israelites. This was after the predecessors such as Saul and David had already blundered by mistreating the Israelites (1 kings 4:30).

How the Israelites Showed Loyalty to God

The covenant relationship, which God had initiated and made with the Israelites, demanded their total commitment. It was their obligation to maintain this relationship if Yahweh was to remain their-father. The Israelites therefore fulfilled this in the following ways.

The Israelites circumcised their baby boys in expressing loyalty to God. This was God's command to their grandfather Abraham to act as a physical sign of their relationship for being chosen as the holy nation. (Genesis 17: 12). Following the ritual of circumcision therefore signified their loyalty to the Abrahamic covenant.

The Israelites commemorated and respected the Pass over feast .They celebrated it annually by and eating of lamb with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast. This was done in commemoration of God's effort of their deliverance from the Egyptian slavery (Leviticus 23:5-4 and Numbers 28:16 - 25).      

The Israelites  through observing the Sabbath expressed their loyalty to God. This was because-God in Exodus 31: 12 commanded them to observe this day and keep it holy (Numbers 28:9-10).

The Israelites offered sacrifices in showing their commitment to God. They sacrificed male animals without defects and deformations such as lameness, blindness, and injury or sickly as God had instructed them (Exodus 12:5).

The Israelites followed the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) to show their loyalty to God. Observing these laws, which were given to them through Moses, was an obligation if they were to remain God's chosen people.

The Israelites believed in one true God to express their loyalty. Much as this was contained in the Ten Commandments, it had special emphasis as recorded in (Deuteronomy 8: 13).

The Israelites obeyed the kings appointed by God in trying to be loyal. The appointment of kings such as Saul and David had followed their demand for a physical ruler. Since God responded positively, the Israelites also submitted themselves to the kings.

The Israelites respected religious leaders such as priests, judges and prophets including Moses, Joshua, Eli, and Nathan respectively. It was God who appointed these leaders. Therefore, it was obligatory for the Israelites to respect them since they were representing God.

The Israelites made pilgrimages to express their loyalties to God. They visited sacred (holy) places annually like the Jerusalem temple where they prayed and offered sacrifices.

The Israelites also fasted as a physical expression of their loyalty to God. They dedicated themselves to God by doing without worldly pleasures such as food and sexual intercourse for an agreed period of time.

The Israelites renewed their covenant with God while at Shechem. This was conducted on every tenth day of the seventh month. On this day, they gathered in sacred places and repented their sins by offering sacrifices.

The Israelites observed the feast of tabernacles to express loyalty to God. This was conducted on the fifteenth day. On this day, the Israelites celebrated after gathering the crops of the land. It was done in thanking God for His provisions like the Canaan land, good harvest etc. (Leviticus 23:29).

The good leadership of some rulers among the Israelites indicated their loyalty to God. Moses, Joshua and King David were outstanding leaders who led the chosen people as God had commanded. In Deuteronomy 17: 18-20, no one was above the law and in Exodus 22: 21 - 27, no one was to be oppressed or exploited.

How the Israelites showed disloyalty to god

The whole history of the Israelites was a continuous struggle to understand the true meaning of commitment (loyalty) to God and persons. Quite often, the Israelites were tempted to, turn away from Yahweh to serve other gods. Many even thought that loyalty meant only keeping the letter of the law without caring for others. This was a failure in their relationship as seen below.

The Israelites complained to Moses about their welfare like during the crossing of the Red Sea and while in the wilderness about food. Even when they were thirsty and hungry, it reflected their lack of faith in God. They had forgotten that the very God that had delivered them from the Egyptian slavery could still come to their rescue. They simply needed prayer and patience, which they failed to do (Exodus, 14: 1 ff, 15: 2 - 27, 17: 1-7).  

 Loyalty in the New Testament

According the New Testament, loyalty means a personal commitment to God and His people through His son Jesus Christ. He is presented as the new covenant that united man in fellowship with the Father (God) and each other. In doing this, Jesus remained loyal to the will of God who had sent him to bring salvation to the people and the people he was serving

Jesus' Loyalty in Serving the Will of God

1. Jesus accepted to be born as a human being (John 1: 1-5). Jesus was with God and God was with Him, but He became a human being so as to fulfill the Father's will of bringing salvation to man kind.  

 2. Jesus accepted to be baptized. Although he was not a sinner, he humbled himself and joined other sinners to take a requirement necessary to build the kingdom of God (Mark 1:9).

3. Jesus also resisted the temptations he underwent through to demonstrate his loyalty to God. He knew he was serving only the father's will and therefore remained firm even when he  was tempted during difficult situation such as changing the stone into bread after spending forty days and nights without food. (Mathew 4:1- II, Mark 1: 12-13, Luke 4: 1 -13).

4. Jesus demonstrated his loyalty to God by preaching the good news in spite of the oppositions. He never gave up preaching even at the time he was' being accused by the religious leaders who were looking for any slight mistake to persecute him. He did not fear persecution because knew he had to bring people closer to God (John 15: 1-2)

5.  Jesus was loyal to God by giving himself to be arrested. He had earlier known the plot of arresting hi m by Judas Iscariot but allowed it to happen so as to fulfill God' swill of redeeming mankind from the bondage of sins (Mark 14: 18 - 21,' 48 - 49).    

6. Jesus demonstrated his loyalty to God by accepting to undergo severe suffering. In Mark 14:34, Christ was over whelmed by sorrows. He was weak in body, but his soul was willing to fulfill God's purpose of bringing salvation to mankind. He even knew that there was more hardship ahead of him but did not give up.

7. Christ showed loyalty by declaring himself publicly as the true Son of God who had come to do the Father's will. This happened at the time when the Pharisees were looking for any reason to kill him. In spite of this, he had no fear and called himself the Son of God even when he appeared to be a blasphemy to the Pharisees. (Luke 6: 1 - 5, John 5: 18 ff 8:28 - 29).

8. Christ attacked the religious leaders for over emphasizing the observation of petty laws that had led them to neglect the urgent needs of man (Mark 2:27,3:4). On this occasion, he made it clear that the Sabbath was made for man but not man for it. He even condemned purification rites that restricted people from doing their normal activities. (Mark 7: 1 7).

9. Jesus also attacked traders in the temple to show his loyalty to God. On this occasion, Jesus chased the traders away, over turned their tables and ordered them to stop making his Father's house a market place; (John 2: 13 '- 30)

10. Christ also showed-his loyalty to God by staying hungry while attending to the people. He pointed out that man does not only live on bread alone but also on the word of God (Mark 3:20 if, John 4:31 ft).

 11. Christ performed many miracles to express his loyalty to God. He healed the sick, raised the dead like the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:36 ff). All these miracles proved the reality of his preaching that later on brought glory to the kingdom of God.

12. Christ led a prayerful life to show his loyalty to God. In his prayers, he recognized that nothing was above the authority of God (Mark 1:35).

13. In his loyalty to God, Christ called upon his disciples to follow him and to be ready to die for the sake of the heavenly kingdom. This was a call for building and defending the kingdom of God (Mark 1: 16 - 20, Luke 9: 23 - 24).

14. Christ showed his loyalty to God by putting the will of God first before the demands of his family and self. He pointed out clearly that he had to be in his father's house when his parents had been looking for him (Luke 2: 4ff, Mark 3: 34 -35).

 Jesus' Loyalty in Serving Man

1. Jesus reconciled man with God. He identified and gave himself as the right way through which man could reach God (John 14: 1ff).

2. Christ performed many miracles that redeemed people from their suffering. Through his miracles, the lame walked the blind gained sight, the hungry fed and others. This showed his genuine love for the people he was serving. (John 6: 1 if, Luke 13 : 6ff).

3. Christ offered his life and died on the cross for the sins of man. It was through his death that man finally achieved salvation. (Mark 15:21 - 32, John 19:17ff, Mathew 27: 32 - 44, Luke 23: 26 - 43)  

4. Christ showed loyalty to man by loving and forgiving his enemies. He prayed to his father to forgive those who plotted for his arrest and crucifixion. He pointed out that this was a fulfillment of what was written in the scripture, (Luke 6:12 - 16, 23: 33 - 34).

5. Christ uplifted the status of children. He mixed and played with them freely. But this was not allowed in the Jewish cultures (Luke 18: 15 - 17).

6. Christ also uplifted the status of women. Women were marginalized and considered dirty and evil in the Jewish society. Christ recognized their rights by accepting the woman's anointment and even appreciating the widow's offer of a coin to the temple as being special (Mark 14:9 & Luke 10:39).

7. In serving the needs of man, Christ explained the parables to his disciples who had failed to understand. Despite the disciples being too slow to understand him, he never got annoyed but gave them time necessary for-proper knowledge of him and building the kingdom of God. (Mark 8: 21 ff).       

8. Christ showed his loyalty to serve the needs of man by calling himself a servant. He emphasized that he had come to serve but not to be served (Mathew 20:26 - 28).

9. To show his loyalty to the needs of man, Christ preached the good news faithfully even when he was being opposed, He did not give up because he knew it was the only way, through which man could achieve salvation. (Mark 3:5).

10. Christ was obedient to the Jewish rule. For example, he supported the payment of tax. He is quoted as saying "give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's" (Mathew 22: 15 - 22, Mark 12: 13 - 17, Luke 20: 20 - 26).

11. Christ lived a non-discriminative life. For example, he associated with the Samaritan woman, even though the Jews and the Samaritans were enemies (John 4: 1 ff).

12. Christ protected marriage relationship as a way of demonstrating his loyalty to the needs of man. He condemned adultery, polygamy and divorce and referred to them as poisons in marriage that could only ruin the relationship (Mathew 5:27 ff, Mark 10: 1 ff).

The Meaning of Loyalty for a Christian

1. For a Christian, loyalty means loving God and neighbors as one self in doing this, one must be committed and dedicated. Christ loved God and man to the extent of giving his own life.

2. To Christians, loyalty means being faithful to the call of God. One must have a clear understanding of his or her role as a Christian to which he or she must be committed to just as Christ did so.      

3. Loyalty to a Christian means being ready to serve others. Christ served others by performing many miracles for the benefit of mankind. He even washed the feet of his disciples. A Christian should therefore be a servant to others.     

4. Loyalty for a Christian means being ready to accept suffering just as Christ suffered from torture, abuses and persecution during his ministry. (2 Corinthians 6:33 ff, Philippians  

5. Loyalty for a Christian means obeying the state unless the demands of the state conflict with those of God. Christ encouraged the payment of tax when he said, “give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's” (Mark 12: 13 - 17).

6.  Loyalty for a Christian means resisting temptations in one's daily life. Christ resisted temptations and remained faithful to the will of God.

7. Loyalty for a Christian means being read to die for one's faith. Christ showed his commitment .and did everything possible to the extent of dying.

8. Loyalty for a Christian means acknowledging that all authority comes from God. One should submit himself or herself to the authority when it means suffering for righteousness (1 Peter 2: 13 ff and Romans 13: 1 -7).  

9. Loyalty for a Christian means serving all people equally without fear and discrimination. This should be through the help of the Holy Spirit given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.    

10. Loyalty for a Christian means forgiving one's enemies. Christ prayed to God to forgive those who persecuted, betrayed and killed him. (Luke 23: 32 - 34).


Licensed under the Developing Nations 2.0

A complete talking Book for Uganda certificate of Education