Saturday, July 9, 2016

Truth vs loyalty

The subject matter I am discussing today is something I have had a lot of experience with over the years.

Loyalty is a funny thing. In one sense it is immensely powerful and brings incredible bonds and unity between people - which of course is not a bad thing. However there are times when loyalty is actually a hindrance towards things which need to be said and growth which needs to happen - because there are times when loyalty can actually blind someone from seeing the truth about themselves or about another person that is close to them.

Several years ago I was called to speak a strong word of knowledge into the lives of two people I was once friends with who had entered into a relationship that was not based in truth and was not God's plan for them. I was called to tell them to end their relationship or there would be serious trouble in their future. I didn't want to have to bring this word to them as I knew what the consequences would be - but I knew I simply had to do it as the word just burned within me until I found the courage to speak it out. They ignored the word that was given and proceeded with their relationship anyway.

One of these people was friends with others that I was also very close with and had developed a strong bond with over the years to the point where I basically called these guys family. The hardest part for me about bringing this word was the repercussions I knew it was going to have among the other people I was still friends with. These guys had all grown up together and although they considered me a good friend I had entered into their lives much later in the picture - so their bonds of loyalty with one another were very strong. I had a strong suspicion that giving this word of knowledge to one person would result in friendships with the others disintegrating as well but I knew I simply had to do it.

One by one these friendships evaporated just as I suspected they would have. One of these guys even admitted I was doing what God had asked me to do when I stood against these people and their relationship yet he still chose to stand by them even though he knew it was against God's will - so he basically chose to stand against God because of his loyalty to his friend. Over time there was only one person left that I was still "friends" with after this episode and I knew in my heart of hearts that this friendship had to end and that I would not be able to walk free until it did. However I kept putting it off because I didn't want to believe it as I wanted to believe that somehow the good friendship we once had could be saved - but deep down I knew the truth.

Once I ended that friendship the truth came out - I was accused of all kinds of different things - one of the main things being that I was "lashing out at all of those around me". However I know that this is not true as I know the difference between speaking a word given by God and speaking a word for selfish reasons. I have had times when I have wanted to speak to people harshly who have been really nasty to me but God has actually told me not to say anything and given me the scripture that says "Do not answer to a fool according to his folly or you will be just like him" (Proverbs 26:4). This time with this situation was totally different as I actually didn't want to say anything to anyone - but the words I needed to speak just kept burning within me and eventually I just had to get over myself and my fear of what would happen and do it anyway - so I know that I was doing what God wanted and not just speaking for selfish reasons.

I was told that everyone had "forgiven" me when all I had done was what I knew I was supposed to do. I had not sinned in standing against them and I had not used abusive language or anything - all I did was say what God told me to say and how He told me to say it yet I was the one accused of being in the wrong. However I was relieved when all of this came out as I had suspected it all from the beginning anyway and it gave me a chance to say to this last person that his loyalty to his friends blinds him to the truth about who they really are. We parted ways and haven't spoken since - and I was finally free.

I remember literally shouting at God because of all of this - "God, why did you call me to be so closely intertwined with the lives of these people only to force me to leave them all behind?" God responded quickly, and was straight to the point - "Because I needed you to speak the truth to them." It broke my heart to walk away from these people but it was what God had wanted me to do all along.

What I realized had happened was that loyalty had taken over truth in this situation. I believe that deep down these people knew that I was doing what I was supposed to do seeing as one of them even admitted it to me. But they just couldn't bring themselves to accept it as it meant having to stand against their friend and their own wants and desires. The loyalty they had built up between each other over the years had blinded them to the truth. In the end their blind loyalty cost them a friendship with me and unfortunately for the couple I was called to warn, their loyalty to each other and their own wants and desires which has proven to be more important than the word of God will cost them a life lived in blessing and favor - because if someone walks outside of God's will for their lives, they will remain outside of it until they choose to walk back into it, and they will remain there without God's favor and protection. Over time this will become clearer and clearer to these people and those whom they surround themselves with.

Ultimately I was at fault here too as I knew from the first moment I was called to speak into the lives of the couple who later ended up marrying that my friendships with the others were going to end. I kept putting off saying something to them in the hope that things would improve so my loyalty to them actually prolonged the suffering I went through of desperately wanting this issue to finally be resolved. If I had been focused on what I knew was true in my heart and soul from the beginning I would have saved myself a lot of hurt and needless agony and frustration. This trial dragged on for four years and by the end of it I was almost losing my mind as I just so desperately wanted it to be over. If I had just been loyal to the truth sooner I would have saved myself some time and frustration.

I was most guilty of putting loyalty before truth when I worked for an organization in 2014. This organization worked people to death, continually demanded time and money from them whilst giving almost nothing in return and the environment was incredibly vile and toxic - people would be absolutely ripped to shreds by the so-called "leader" of this organization behind their backs. Though in my heart of hearts I knew that all of this was bad and unsustainable I continually and deliberately turned a blind eye to the truth because of my loyalty to the leader who had been of help to me in the past. As time went on others began to gather around me and tell me that this place was bad news and that the management was "amateur" - but I didn't want to hear it because I was also blinded by loyalty. I was told that I was being used and that I was being worked far too hard and that I needed to be more careful due to my health history over the years but I refused to listen to this and kept on pushing forwards. Eventually, all hell broke loose when the leadership began implementing policies and procedures that actually put people in physical danger. I realized at this point that I had to leave or I was going to get seriously hurt.

A few months after leaving I spoke with the leader of this organization wanting to get a receipt so that I could claim back for some of the money I invested into this place. I asked 5 or 6 times and each time I got excuses and "yeah it's in the post" but it never showed up, or I was told "I'll email it to you soon" but it never came. Finally it was given to me via Facebook without even a word of apology for taking so long to get it to me - in fact it came without any words at all. Considering all that I invested into that place I was pretty disgusted but once again I became aware that I had known this was going to be the case all along - I had been told before about the leader of this place that he was a taker and just continually took from other people without giving much back in return, yet I had refused to listen to my gut. I had also seen and heard just how many people this so-called leader had fallen out with over the years which made me really think just how long his organization was going to last - not to mention how long it would be until he fell out with me. I had my doubts the place would continue much longer and a couple of months ago I received word that it had closed its doors permanently. When I spoke with some of my good friends about this who had walked with me throughout this time and stood by me with all I was going through when I was involved there, they all said the exact same thing - "I'm not surprised."

These two significant life events made me realize one thing - truth is sovereign and it will always have its day. Loyalty can block it out for a time but truth will always shine through as it simply cannot stay hidden forever. Truth doesn't have to be defended. All it needs is to be spoken and it will do the rest on its own. I am hoping that I have learned my own lesson and that I will learn to side with the truth much sooner than what I have done in the past going forwards. I am hoping that loyalty to anyone - including myself - will no longer prevent me from saying what I know needs to be said and doing what I know needs to be done.

I want you to ask yourself this - is there any truths out there that you are not living by, or not speaking out, because loyalty is holding you back and is blinding you from what is really going on? If so I encourage you to learn to find the courage to do something about it. The truth will have its day eventually as it always does. But if you are being called to say or do something to help bring it to the light, you won't find any peace until you do what you have to do. You will save yourself time and a lot of frustration if you do what you know is right and stop putting it off.

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