At one of the earlier National Institute of Christian Leadership sessions, Dr. Rutland mentioned that one of his favorite books is Character Matters, which I had the privilege of publishing in 2003. I felt that you would enjoy reading an excerpt below from the book's chapter on loyalty. It's that good.
"Loyalty is the willingness, because of relational commitment, to deflect praise, admiration and success onto another," Dr. Rutland wrote. "This loyalty may well be at great personal expense, but it will edify and bless its object. Loyalty never usurps authority. It refuses to accept inappropriate love or praise that might properly exalt another. Loyalty is the glue that holds relationships together, makes families functional and armies victorious. Loyalty is the fabric of society.
"Without loyalty, no enlisted man can dare to hope that his general cares whether he lives or dies, and no captain can expect an inconvenient order to be obeyed," he continued. "Without loyalty, marriage becomes a competitive minefield, companies become dangerously paranoid, and ruthless power politics will turn bishops into Machiavellian princes. Loyalty is the basic element that validates and cements relationships. If husbands are disloyal to their wives, if children are disloyal to their parents, parents to children, employees to employers, there is no secure relationship, and the fabric of community soon unravels."
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