L is for Loyal {a word study}

I recently heard a story about a bee hive. 

Because a family believed a honey bee hive in their backyard to be a nuisance and possible danger to their children, they called a local beekeeper to come move it to a new location. 

Because some of the worker bees were out doing what worker bees do — working — they were not in the hive when it was removed and were left behind, hive and queen bee-less. For days these left-behind bees buzzed around the now empty spot in the tree . . . until, one by one, they died. 

If you’ve ever observed or studied about honey bees, it is undeniable that they are  loyal little creatures. Their primary responsibility in life is to serve their queen. Even if that loyalty means ultimately dying for or because of her. 

In a day and age where people often speak of being brand-loyal or loyalty to their favorite sports team, I wonder if we really understand what loyalty actually means.

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If you’re unsure about what it means to do a word study, or why I do them, take a peek back at A is for Attentive. I explain more there.
word study loyal

Today’s word for study is LOYAL.

According to the Webster’s 1828: 
 
Loyal– adj.: faithful to a prince or superior; true to plighted faith, duty or love; not treacherous
 
 

Key Word Definitions:

Faithful: firmly adhering to duty; constant in the performance of duties or services; true

Superior: above; more elevated in place; higher or greater in excellence

Plighted: pledged

Duty: that which a person owes to another; obedience; submission

Treacherous: violating allegiance or faith pledged

 

Loyal Defined in My Own Words:

To be loyal is to pledge to be faithful and true to those whom we elevate above ourselves or to those we are to be obedient and/or submissive to.

 

Biblical References:

 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for  he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9)

Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you. Tie them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. (Proverbs 3:3)

 

My Thoughts:

When I was looking through Scripture for verses to share about loyalty — I happened upon the one above – Proverbs 3:3. I looked through several translations and wanted to share with you the different words used for loyalty and faithfulness:

love and faithfulness

steadfast love and faithfulness

loyalty and kindness

kindness and truth

mercy and truth

gracious love and truth

peace, favor and truth

lovingkindness and truth

I’m not a Bible scholar by any stretch of the imagination. At best, I attempt to read a few translations of verses that are unclear to me in ESV (my usual go-to) and pray for God to reveal His Truth to me. 

But there is no escaping that loyalty is tied to these traits – love, faithfulness, and truth.

Loyalty is not something to take lightly. We are to be loyal to each other (because frankly — who’s left once we’ve included those we should put before ourselves) because God was faithful to us by calling us into fellowship with Jesus. Talk about ultimate loyalty — Jesus did indeed demonstrate it completely when He went to the cross. Is He deserving of less from us in return? 

Anytime I read anywhere in the Bible the instruction to write something on the tablet of my heart, I am compelled to stop and pay attention. God does not use the image of writing things on tablets lightly (think 10 Commandments). This loyalty thing is important y’all. 

I had an idea to look at a few other words — antonyms of loyal. This is what I found at Thesaurus.com: 

disloyal

faithless

undependable

unreliable

untrustworthy

unfaithful

Wow! Those are some strong words. And I started thinking. In what ways, as wretched sinners, do we demonstrate the opposite of being loyal? 

Gossip, not holding confidences, not keeping our promises, not having enough faith. Those are the first things that I thought of.

And then two more verses immediately came to mind: 

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. (Matthew 5:37)

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

I have a challenge for you. Let’s stop using words like love and loyal and faithful for stuff. These are words God uses to bind us unto himself and each other. And let’s start letting our “yes be yes,” meaning doing what we say we’ll do. 

Like the honey bee who seemingly has no thought for himself, only looking toward the queen, let us keep our eyes only looking toward the King. 

The decision is one we all must make . . . 

Who or what are we willing to swarm around for our entire lives . . . and be willing to die for? Hunt’s Tomato Sauce? The New York Mets? 

Each other? 

Jesus?

blogging through the alphabet sm.


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  • Laurie Messer

    I couldn’t agree with you more Marcy! I’ve been studying along the same lines this week in my personal quiet time…how our kingdom work is loving others as Jesus loves us. :)

    • http://www.benandme.com/ Marcy @ Ben and Me

      it is THE key. when Jesus tells his disciples that the greatest commandments are to love God and love others, we should pay attention to that. but we lose it somehow.

  • Lori H

    I have been working hard on not using words like love and faithful to describe “stuff.” It is much harder to convince the girls to not use love to describe everything they enjoy having. Loyal is an underused word when it comes to its true definition. Thank you for sharing it with us here.

    • http://www.benandme.com/ Marcy @ Ben and Me

      it is a struggle even for myself. I “love” lots of things. It’s true. but He is teaching me.

  • http://walkingwithshiloh.com Taunya R

    Good post Marcy. Except now my heart is breaking at the thought of those poor little bees dying…(I really have a problem LOL)

    • http://www.benandme.com/ Marcy @ Ben and Me

      you’re so cute.

  • godlyindianmom
  • Erica B

    Loyalty is such a lost character trait in this day. I am so glad you wrote about it – it is so important!

    • http://www.benandme.com/ Marcy @ Ben and Me

      you know, I think loyalty is something that has been vastly misunderstood. we are all loyal to something or someone. that’s where we need to begin. figuring out where we are wasting it.