The word “commit” has sort of lost its meaning. This culture’s perfectly fine with backing out of commitments like marriage and children on a pretty regular basis. Small commitments and promises are broken all the time. Everyone’s so flaky.
And the sad thing is that I’ve met few people flakier than the Christians I’ve encountered in my life. Let’s be honest: the church is know for being unreliable, disorganized and slow.
“As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.”
James 5:10-12 ESV
James seemed to think that we should be so good at both honesty and commitment that people should take us at our word without calling it a promise.
This is especially important in a culture that’s taught by the media not to trust Christians. Since the Bible calls us to be trustworthy, I’d think we’d want to fight that stereotype.
Well, if we want to fight it we should stop living it.
That means when we commit to doing something, we see it through no matter what.
That means if someone speaks to us, we respond in love.
That means if we say we’ll pray for something, we really pray for it.
That means we plan ahead so we don’t get too busy to keep our commitments.
Not to say there’s never a good reason to back out. Sometimes canceling is unavoidable and we don’t really have the time to keep every appointment.
But the following excuses aren’t valid:
- I’m too loaded down with work
- I planned on taking some time off
- I just need to do nothing today
- Someone else can do that
- I’m too anxious
- I’m not in a good place right now
These excuses, quite frankly, are stupid. And if you’ve made a commitment to someone or something and use an excuse like that to get out of it, we show how little we care.
And now we get to the point. How many times do we do that with God?
- “I can’t read tonight. I’m too tired.”
- “I wanted tonight to myself.”
- “I don’t need to get in the Word EVERY day.”
- “I’m not in a good enough place to pray right now.”
How little do we care about God if we’ll use these excuses? Why are these minor setbacks enough to keep us from entering the presence of God?
God asks us to commit our whole lives to Him, and we have the Holy Spirit to help us do that. And I’m willing to bet there’s a direct correlation between the way we commit to others and the way we commit to Him. Just something to think about.