||Bible Question: What
is the difference between commitment and loyalty?
Bible Answer: The
English word "commitment" means to make a promise or to
agree to do something while "loyalty" has the idea of being
faithful to a person. Commitment is our promise, and loyalty is an
inner quality that results in consistent, honorable follow through.
Have you ever made a promise to someone
and then not followed through? Yes, they were depending on you, but
you decided not to follow through. I think each of us has, on some
occasion in our life, stopped, remembered that we had promised to
do something for a friend, parent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, pastor
- they were depending on us - and then we decided not to follow through.
We promised, but we were not faithful to the person who was depending
We have all done it. Men and women in
great times of trouble have made many promises to God and then not
faithfully followed through. Wives and husbands have promised or vowed
to be faithful to be each other and then been unfaithful. We have
done the same to God. In Psalm 78 the Holy Spirit reminds us that
God knows our hearts and our thoughts.
remembered God Most High, the mighty rock that kept them safe.
But they tried to flatter God, and they told Him lies; they
were unfaithful and broke their promises. (CEV) Ps. 78:35-37
records a conversation between Abraham Lincoln and a Kentucky colonel.
day, President Lincoln was riding in a coach with a colonel
from Kentucky. The colonel took a bottle of whiskey out of his
pocket. He offered Mr. Lincoln a drink. Mr. Lincoln said, "No
thank you." In a little while, the colonel took some cigars
our of his pocket and offered one to Mr. Lincoln. Again Mr.
Lincoln said, "No thank you, Colonel." Then Mr. Lincoln
said, "I want to tell you a story. One day, when I was
about nine years old, my mother called me to her bed. She was
very sick. She said, 'Abe, the doctor tells me that I am not
going to get well. So I want you to be a good boy. I want you
to promise me before I go that you will never use whiskey or
tobacco as long as you live.' I promised my mother that I never
would, and up to this hour, I have kept my promise!"
is a great example of commitment and faithfulness. He could have rationalized
his promise away later in life. When we come to the Word of Truth.
God wants our faithfulness. If we have made promises, we need to keep
them - first to God and then to anyone else in this life, unless it
was a commitment to sin!