My early posts in this series on the traits of a God Buddy relationship provide you with the foundation for a deeper friendship with another man. The two most recent posts about Nonjudgmental Acceptance and Unconditional Love, and the more-difficult companion of Confrontation, Confession, and Accountability were additional traits to help “sharpen” you both into more godly men.
These next few traits will help your relationship flourish. It starts with Loyalty and Dependability which means being trustworthy and reliable.
Today, many people say they are loyal or dependable but that’s not what they demonstrate in their life. Many people make wedding vows just to divorce within a few years. Some stop being BFFs (Best Friends Forever) just because the other person no longer has anything to offer them. Other friendships stop when it becomes too much of a one-way street. Those who claim to be really close friends, often ditch each other when things get difficult between them or when circumstances change.
However, being loyal and dependable is possibly one of the most important character traits anyone can possess in your God Buddy relationship.
Loyalty vs Dependability – What’s the difference?
As nouns, the difference between loyalty and dependability is that loyalty is the state of being loyal; while dependability is the characteristic of being dependable; the ability to be depended upon.
Let’s look at each of the traits and see how they apply to your God Buddy relationship.
Loyalty is among the most treasured words in any language. It’s the quality of devotion or attachment to somebody or something. Loyalty is both a feeling and an action. Its synonyms are equally noble virtues: faithfulness, allegiance, fidelity, wholeheartedness, and devotion. It means when you get a call from someone who needs help, you are immediately there for them. They can count on you for support and trust what you say even when you confront them.
So how good are you at remaining loyal?
Some of us tend to be loyal by nature while others are more skeptical, preferring instead to be disconnected and live out on our own. Loyalty is tested in our homes, businesses, and schools. It’s also tested every day in our friendships and in all our human relationships.
As it relates to your GB relationship, loyalty not just a word but is a lifestyle since it affects how you approach life and your friendship—either by God’s way or the world’s way. GB-level loyalty reflects your covenant to help and support each other. Without it, your friendship will NOT remain solid.
Where loyalty reflects our commitment, dependability reflects our priorities.
Dependability is a valuable character trait that reflects a person’s trustworthiness, honesty, and responsibility. Its the quality of being someone that can be counted, like clock-work.
When there is an important task to complete within a specific timeframe, we tend to look for dependable people. When there is an important conversation needed or some help is required, we call our most dependable friends, not the one who has a history of not showing up.
The most dependable people keep their word, even at personal cost. They live by the old adage “My word is my bond.”. Their simple “yes” or “no” is like gold to those who receive it.
The same type of dependability is needed in your GB relationship. You can always depend on each other.
God Buddies demonstrate they are both loyal and dependable by making their relationship a priority.
Let’s look at what Scripture says about loyalty and dependability. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Proverbs 17:17 says “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
- Proverbs 18:24 tells us that “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
- Proverbs 20:6 encourages with, “Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?”.
- John 15:13 challenges, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
One of the best-known cases of genuine friendship in the Bible is between David and Jonathan (as I previously wrote about here). Their friendship was so strong that Jonathan risked the wrath of the father in order to save David’s life. Although Jonathan had made a covenant with David, he also respected his father, Saul, who planned to kill David out of jealousy. But Jonathan knew God was with David and not with Saul so he showed his loyalty to David by warning him to hide. Then after Jonathan dies, David looked after his son, Mephibosheth. Now that is the loyalty of a friend!
There’s also the very embodiment of loyalty in Ruth, who states her complete devotion and duty to her mother-in-law:
“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God”— Ruth 1:16
In the same story in the book of Ruth, Boaz is a model of dependability and commitment. When Ruth needed help, Boaz agrees to become her kinsman-redeemer (guardian) if he was legally able to do so. Boaz’s reputation was one of dependability and he did what he said he would do. His word was like gold so he followed-through.
God Buddies are Loyal and Dependable
Being a God Buddy means even more than being a close friend.
Christian author, Bob Barnes writes: “A good man is a gift to all who know him – he’s dependable like the sunrise because his goodness spring’s from inner strength, not outward circumstances.”
A God Buddy’s loyalty results in actions without any rewards. It also doesn’t wain due to changing circumstances.
American pastor and author, Stu Weber also says: “The ability to make and keep promises is central to manhood. It may be trite to say that a man’s word is his bond, but it is never trite to see it in action. ”
Could you pick three loyal and dependable people in your life?
Every guy needs at least one or two God Buddies to help them through the ups and your downs in life. GBs will come to get you when your car breaks down in the middle of the night. They will go to your house when your toilet leaks while you are traveling. GBs are dependable.
The motto of the United States Marine Corps is “Semper Fidelis” meaning: “Always Faithful”, which means always loyal and dependable. Maybe we should adopt that as the motto of the God Buddies too!
Up next: the traits of Prayer, Support, and Encouragement.
How would you define Loyalty and Dependability? What part do those traits play in your relationships, especially your closest friendships?