I love my generation. I believe that God has so much in store for us. We are unique, radical, free-thinking, non-judgmental, genuine, free, and innovative. But we’ve paid a price for our freedom and innovation, and I believe one of the things we’ve exchanged for innovation is loyalty.
Actually, even I don’t necessarily want to be defined as loyal most times. It sounds like a word that should be used for a soldier, or a knight, or a golden retriever, or someone who works a desk job for their whole life. Great people, but not me. It sounds honorable but not fun and certainly not radical! But why do we now equate being loyal with being boring?
Many professions these days don’t require us to stick in one place. We can work from home, or the park, or Iceland as long as we have our charging cable and the wifi password. We want to experience the world, and we’re even encouraged to get experience in a wide range of areas. We’ve spread ourselves around the world, but many of us haven’t even worked one job for more then a couple years.
Often, even in the name of God, we allow ourselves to be blown around, chasing after a dream, a new trend, a word we feel we’ve received from God, or our passions.We’ve made our goal to reach far instead of deep and as a result our roots are small and fragile like the succulent plants we’ve come to love so much.
We millennials have turned from loyalty in fear of losing our independence and freedom. But what if sacrificing loyalty is really robbing us of our effectiveness in the Kingdom and our ability to connect with others?
What if we start to think of loyalty as RADICAL? What if we start being deeply committed to a group of people, or a place, or a cause until the world begins to change?
I love the idea of being ready to up and move at any given moment, obeying Jesus when He calls me to go to dangerous or remote places, following Him to new territory each day. But as I’ve grown in God I’ve seen that often the kind of obedience that God calls us to is the obedience to stick it out, and almost always, that kind is way harder. It’s hard to keep pursuing a calling when the excitement has worn off. It’s hard to keep pursuing people who are running away. It’s hard to keep going to a place that has become familiar. It’s hard to to keep having conversations even after you’ve run out of things to say. It’s hard to keep following a leader even after they’ve done things you don’t agree with.
I did a bit of research on succulents (because I’ve killed 3 of them already) and I found out that it’s not a great idea to re-pot or replant them because their fragile roots can’t handle being pulled up and relocated. Other plants can be replanted over and over as they grow and their roots get deeper and stronger. Actually, re-potting the plant can help it to “graduate” and develop a bigger root system.
When we allow ourselves to become established in a place or a season we will have strong roots. Then, when God does call us to step out into something new, we will be able to transition with strong character and values, ready for more growth. Let’s not jump out of our seasons prematurely and stunt the growth that God is trying to do in and through us. The more we learn to radically obey God, I believe we will grow toward loyalty, not away from it.
“He who pursues righteousness and loyalty finds life, righteousness and honor. “