Ask almost anyone over the age of 60 about commitment, and they’ll tell of a time when, “Your word was your bond.” If asked, they’ll explain that if a person said he would do something, he could be counted on to do it. Sure, there were those who did not follow through, but they were the exception.
Today’s culture looks very different. A person’s word is rarely fully trusted even when it is actually fully trustworthy.
In a culture where selfishness and greed seem to dominate, a fog of mistrust covers almost every relationship at least to some degree. Unfortunately, that’s because not keeping a commitment is almost acceptable, or at least not protested much.
Instead of accepting this cultural trend, let’s build trust in a way that can be a catalyst for change. Let’s be examples of trustworthy commitment with regard to work, family, and faith.
For children and teens, work means their effort in sports and school. For adults, commitment to work may involve a job, but it includes other areas (e.g., volunteering) too.
Commitment to work means fully giving the effort needed to accomplish a task to the best of one’s ability. It involves the following core principles:
- Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it.
- Do what you know is right. You only control yourself and no one else.
Be someone others can depend upon regardless of whether or not others are reliable.
Family commitment revolves more around connection than activity. In fact, over-commitment to activity actually works against connection.
Commitment to family involves letting go of self and entering into a habitual preferring of others not out of obligation but out of love. It also means bringing the best of yourself to every situation.
Commitment to family also involves placing a spouse above others (yes, even kids). Remember, this is the one earthly relationship that most closely relates to the relationship we are to have with Christ.
Commitment to faith in Christ surrounds and permeates all other areas of commitment. How a person commits to the call of Christ on their life determines how commitment exists in every other area, including family and work.
We also must remember that faith is not yet another commitment to be balanced. Instead, faith in Christ is the scale that balances all other areas.
Consider the following when evaluating your commitment to Christ. How do your answers reflect your commitment in all areas of life?
- Are you always willing and ready to arise and be his voice?
- Has Christ won your heart? If he has, are you running after him and following his lead?
- Would you lay down your life for Christ? What are you willing to sacrifice for him?
- Have you committed fully to the Lord? Are you allowing him to pour you out as he sees fit?
- How has Christ’s love changed you? Will you go and be where he wants? Do what he wants?
- Will you follow the path he chooses and leads you down?
You answers to these questions not only reveals your commitment in the areas of faith, work, and family, but it also determines the character with which you live your whole life.
“Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.” (Abraham Lincoln)
We live in a culture where keeping commitments seems optional more often than not. However, while we are in this culture, we don’t have to be of this culture.
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:19)
As we commit more fully to Christ and increasingly give our lives to him, commitments in other areas of our lives become more complete too. While we may live in a culture where selfishness is rampant, we must continually remind ourselves that we do not belong to the world. We belong to a Savior who deserves our complete and total commitment.