Staying Committed, Part 4 of 5 – Guidelines for Godly Commitment

November 2, 2012

In order to stay committed and to keep commitments, we need to focus on full commitment to God and on living according to His Great Expectations with regard to the commitments we make. There’s no other way to truly stay committed. They are the standards by which He expects us to live.

Fortunately, we have many Biblical Lessons on Commitment to help us learn how to live according to His Great Expectations. In addition to these lessons, we now look at some guidelines the Bible gives us for keeping commitments in a way that honors God by Staying in the Boat.

5 Guidelines for Making Godly Commitments

  1. Make sure beliefs and commitments line up with each other (1 Timothy 4:16). Life sure is less complicated when what we believe and what we do don’t contradict each other. Not only do we feel more grounded, but our kids and those we are around the most feel more secure knowing what to expect from us.
  2. Stay committed to decisions but allow for flexibility in your approach (Proverbs 16:9). We need to make plans and to stay organized, but we also need to realize that God may redirect us at times or that we may be off on our plans. Other people can cause a change in plans too. Stay flexible.
  3. Be very careful with your words (Matthew 5:34-37). Our words are very important to God, so we certainly need to avoid making promises based on good intentions. Once a promise is made, it should be kept. Afraid of breaking promises? Be sure you can keep it before you make it.
  4. Ask God’s direction before committing (Joshua 9:14). Joshua promised the Edomites protection without consulting God. Had He talked to God first, Joshua most likely would not have fallen for their lies. Take time before committing, and don’t answer rashly based on emotion or pressure. Ask for time before making a commitment.
  5. Avoid over-commitment (1 Peter 4:8-11). Do you find yourself breaking commitments on a regular basis? Maybe you just put them off a lot or keep forgetting about them? If “rush” is your only speed, you’re probably over-committing yourself. Being committed is not necessarily about making commitments. In fact, I find that the fewer commitments I make, the more committed I am able to be.

Don’t Jump Out of the Boat!

When we feel overwhelmed with life rushing in, we sometimes feel like jumping out of the boat all together. Just escape in any way possible. But that’s not God’s desire for our lives.

We need discernment, prayer, caution & accountability in order to stay committed. We need room (margin) in our days, weeks, months, years & lives in order to keep the commitments we make.

Over-commitment not only leads to a desire to abandon ship, it also can lead to damaging our integrity, through the damaging of relationships and our own ability to spiritually, physically and mentally stay committed and to reach the other shore victoriously.

DISCUSSION: What tips do you have for avoiding over-commitment? Tell us in the comment section, and your tips may be used in a future post on how to avoid over-commitment.

For another way to look at our boat analogy, check out Put your boat in the water by Kathy Howard at Laced with Grace.

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7 Responses to “Staying Committed, Part 4 of 5 – Guidelines for Godly Commitment”

  1. I think there's also benefit in regularly stopping to evaluate all of our commitments. If we're over committed, it may be that we could get rid of some of our commitments in a way that still keeps our integrity in tact. And if not, then we're definitely more hesitant to get over committed in the future.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Excellent point, Loren. Keeping commitments certainly helps keeo our integrity in tact. And, monitoring integrity can help prevent over-commitment.

      • Mark Allman Says:

        To follow up on Loren's comment. I think one thing we should, if it would be appropriate, consider when making commitments is to consider putting a time limit on your commitment up front and discuss that you will do what Loren says and evaluate it at the end of that time. You can then extend it for another period of time or gracefully bow out.

        Of course there are some commitments that you should not put a time limit on.

        • Kari Scare Says:

          Where possible & appropriate, it's definitely a good idea. We can also make a point to assess ALL commitments regularly, if we should end them, how we should step it up, what we need to change, etc. We should do this even if a commitment doesn't have a specific end date. I bet Loren could write a great post on doing this, if he hasn't already.

  2. Mark Allman Says:

    I think it helps to talk with your spouse or a friend before you make any commitments so they can offer perspective and point out what all you have going on now. We do need to review current commitments in light of considering a new one. What effect will the new one have on our current commitment. We have to turn down good stuff sometimes just because we can not do it the service it needs.

  3. […] Guidelines for Godly Commitment, point number 5 briefly addressed the importance of avoiding over-commitment. Because […]

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