Some people have asked me what the difference is between loyalty and fidelity. And my ready answer has always been that there is hardly any difference between the two. They are allied to each other. One cannot be without the other if both have to be real virtues.
Fidelity is when one makes a promise to commit himself to something for a period of time or for the whole lifetime. It’s what one assumes when he enters into marriage, for example, or answers a special vocation.
It’s something to be taken seriously, with thorough study and reflection to see if indeed such commitments can be fulfilled with a significant degree of certainty. It banks itself on one’s faith and trust in God’s providence and is surely an expression of love.
Loyalty, on the other hand, simply walks what fidelity promises. It lives out the details, and especially the finer points, involved in fidelity. When one is loyal, he is being true to his commitments on a day-to-day basis.
Loyalty makes one’s fidelity steadfast under any condition and weather. It keeps one’s commitments intact whatever life involves and wherever life leads him. It shows its true colors when those commitments are heavily tested in life.
But we need to understand that for both loyalty and fidelity to work, care should be given to the small things in life. That is to say, that the impulse of love should always be given in the small, ordinary things of our day, since that would help us to keep on going in love when the big things, the big challenges and difficulties in life come.
More importantly, we need to understand that the love that would keep us faithful and loyal whatever the situation is, can only come and should be a sharing, a reflection of God’s love. This is the only kind of love that can keep us faithful and loyal all the way.
Let’s always keep in mind that our life has a lot more to offer, a lot more to challenge us than what we can manage to cope. We would always be in need of the power of love that can only come from God who actually wants to share it with us.
For this, we have to follow the example of Christ who fulfilled the Father’s will to save mankind all the way to the cross. That is the kind of love that we ought to have to guarantee our fidelity and loyalty to our commitments.
It’s a love that is forged and made strong through suffering and all kinds of trials in our life. But we should neither forget that if we have this kind of love, our suffering and crosses would not really be as heavy as they seem, because we know that more than us, it would be Christ himself who would suffer all of them first before we suffer them. Yes, he suffers for us and with us.
And so, we can manage to remain calm, confident, faithful and loyal whatever the situation may be, whatever trials and difficulties we may encounter in life. Thus, if our faith and love for Christ is strong and deep, we would not be afraid to assume commitments. We somehow would feel reassured that we can manage to be faithful and loyal whatever happens!*