‘John Kenneth Galbraith was a noted economist in the early 1900s who was called upon by many dignitaries to help sort the economic markets. He wrote the following story in his autobiography about his housekeeper:
“It had been a wearying day, and I asked Emily to hold all telephone calls while I had a nap. Shortly thereafter the phone rang. Lyndon Johnson was calling from the White House. ‘Get me Ken Galbraith. This is Lyndon Johnson.’ ‘He is sleeping, Mr. President. He said not to disturb him.’ ‘Well, wake him up. I want to talk to him.’ ‘No, Mr. President. I work for him, not you.’ When I called the President back, he could scarcely control his pleasure. ‘Tell that woman I want her here in the White House.’
The Bible gives many accounts of a situation where a line was drawn between God and either other god’s, or even man. Joshua made such a declaration of loyalty to God.
“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Where does your loyalty lie? Is it to Christ who is the beginning and the end? Many men on earth have sworn their allegiance to an earthly king, but oh so few have truly sworn their allegiance to the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
In His time, Jesus found loyalty a rare trait. He was denied by one servant and betrayed by another on that agonising night before He was crucified. In His time of need, even His most trusted companions couldn’t stay awake. Yet even then until now, Jesus demands that we remain loyal, even unto death. That we take up our cross daily and follow Him – in total denial of self. He must be placed in first position in our life - our first love. Would the King of the universe deserve anything else?
Loyalty is a rare find indeed. So rare that even the Creator of Heaven and Earth, throughout time, has had to call upon His people to remain loyal. To ponder for a moment at the many times, in many ways, we have denied the truth and thus called God a liar. Oh how the mercy of God is never seen at its most richest than in that moment when a mere man defies the Lord of Hosts, and yet still lives. That same moment when we use the air in our lungs that was given to praise God, yet we speak what we ought not speak. That instant when we use the hands that were given to glorify the Lord, yet we use them to do what we ought not do. Oh, what a rare thing it is to find a soul who is loyal to the King.
I'm sure we all remember a time when we were betrayed by a close friend. That sharp, painful stab in the back pierces through to the heart. This is why the Bible talks so much about not allowing selfish ambition and jealousy to enter into the flock, because every other evil thing comes in with it. We ought to relate to the heartache of betrayal, for there wouldn't be a soul on Earth who hasn't been betrayed or betrayed another. Do you remember what it is like being on the receiving end of whispers, innuendo, gossip, slander and all those devices belonging to Satan. The spirit of Satan epitomises the very meaning of what it is to be disloyal - even betraying God Himself and continuing to lead careless souls to do the same today.
We live in a time where even businesses find they must give out loyalty cards with incentives for customers to remain loyal. Yet true loyalty cannot be bought using incentives or money. True loyalty is most definitely a work of the cross, because without it, we would never be loyal to Him who shed His blood for you and me. Our loyalty to Jesus and others is tested through trials that we encounter through life. Those who are truly in Christ will prove to be loyal through even the most troubling situations. God has always been and still to this day, remains the most loyal of friends in Heaven and on Earth. By His blood He purchased us, we who were in bondage to sin and death and He made us free.
John Kenneth Galbraith found a loyal servant in his housekeeper, Emily. Imagine how many influential people he would have rubbed shoulders with during his life – even the President, the most powerful man in the world. However, the President knew how rare a loyal servant truly is, saying, ‘I want her here.’
There are many characteristics that far exceed talent or skill - loyalty is one such characteristic.
Emily the housekeeper understood an important truth—she was a servant to one man and obeyed his wishes explicitly. Her loyalties were to Mr. Galbraith alone.
What a great example of a true servant.
-- By Judah Ayling
This article was written to form part of the series, 'Imitate'. Containing 45 sessions, this thorough series intends to reveal the characteristics found in a disciple of Jesus. The original article, 'Imitate', would be the best place to begin your journey in discovering the qualities of a follower of the Messiah of Israel.