“Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.” (Proverbs 3:3-4 NIV)
What a statement that is! Never is a looong time, folks. The sage made quite a statement by demanding never-ending loyalty and kindness from us. Why is this so important? It is right there in the text: If you don’t have shifting loyalties and stay kind towards others as you remain faithful to God, you will be favored on earth as you are in heaven. You will earn a good reputation!
Wise people make it a priority to stay loyal and kind. In the Book of James, there is an account of what happens when people’s loyalties shift from God to the world. James makes it clear that kindness walks out of the room when folks lose their loyalty to God:
“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”(James 4:4-10 NLT)(Emphases mine)
When you allow your loyalty to shift to the world, you become carnal and envious and start fighting with the people you used to love. Instead of asking God for what you need, you try to take it from others. Loyalty is faithfulness and allegiance to someone, even when it is no longer beneficial or convenient.