The relationship between a man and his dog is the classic metaphor for loyalty. But if you know anything about taking care of a dog, you know it’s hard work. There are the vet bills, the gear, the food (only the best, of course), the obedience classes, and the time and energy you will spend walking, training, playing with, and cleaning up after your pet.
“Man’s best friend” sounds nice. Who wouldn’t want a lifelong companion? But the responsibility is huge, and a lot of people discover they can’t or don’t want to handle it.
Human relationships are similar to our relationships with our pets in that we get out of them what we put into them. We all want those friends who stay “closer than a brother,” but we neglect the verses in the Bible that talk about the hard work of friendship. We need to be prepared to walk with our friends through their difficult times, their “time(s) of calamity.”
True friends are those willing to bail you out at midnight when you have a flat tire. They’re the ones who bring you dinner while you sit in the hospital waiting room. Loyalty is sticking around when it’s tough and inconvenient. It’s imitating the love Christ showed us on the cross. It’s hard work, yes, but the rewards of a great friendship are worth it.
What’s one hard thing God might be calling you to do to show loyalty to a friend?