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  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 on us.
     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.

  They 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
Conclusion:History records a conversation between Abraham Lincoln and a Kentucky colonel.

  One 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!"
Lincoln 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!
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