Commitment, that’s a “sticky” word for most of us. We want the people around us to be committed to whatever we are working on. We want them to show up when they say they will and to finish the project we are working on. On the other hand, we ourselves don’t want to be “stuck” doing something that we really don’t want to do so we answer requests “I’ll be there if…” We have an old friend who when asked to bring something to a meeting would answer “I will if I remember.” He meant it. It wasn’t very helpful. You never knew for sure if you would have what you needed from him at the time you asked for it.
In the past few weeks we have met and talked with many old and new friends. In one form or another this subject kept coming up. Someone had “let them down.” Or they just didn’t think they could be a part of that group or their marriage anymore because someone had “let them down.” Some people are not actively a part of a local church because they don’t like the way Christians talk or are portrayed in the media. They don’t want to be associated with “hypocrites.” Those people disappointed them.
While studying for teaching on marriage at the Okoboji Lakes Bible and Missionary Conference I challenged the term “marriage covenant”. I asked pastor-friends. I looked up all the verses I could find using covenant in my concordance. (well maybe not ALL of them) I also studied the Biblical definition. What I learned is that a covenant is a commitment. When you enter into a covenant you are agreeing to stick to the deal, whatever that might be. The clinker is that when you enter into that agreement you are agreeing to keep up your part no matter what the other guy does. In Genesis 15 the Lord makes a covenant with Abraham that his family will inherit the Land. The Lord made the covenant. He will carry it out. Abraham had a part – it is to believe and obey but God’s covenant is not based on Abraham’s participation. He also did that through His son, Jesus. God made a covenant to love us and save us from our sins. He did His part. He sent His son to die to cleanse us from our sins. We choose whether or not we will participate (recognize our sins, repent and receive His forgiveness) but He did it irregardless of our reaction. He loves us that much. He is that committed.
Kindof puts a new slant on our life commitments doesn’t it? When my co-worker doesn’t hold up their end of the work and I bail out because “they aren’t helping” I’m really not very committed am I? Or even more importantly, when our spouse doesn’t behave the way we want them to and we react with retaliation or just give up on the relationship – we’re not carrying out the covenant we made with them when we got married. I’m even thinking about our commitment to the Body of Christ. When we don’t join in a local church on a ongoing basis it seems to me we’re not very committed to the Body of Christ. We just want to use it when it’s convenient or helpful to ourselves. I believe we are missing out on lots of great though maybe at times hard things. Deep relationships, support, encouragement, and love are built over time.
What’s your commitment level?