Staying Committed, Part 3 of 5 – Biblical Lessons on Commitment

October 26, 2012

In order to stay committed and to keep commitments, in order to finish strong by Staying in the Boat until we cross the finish line, we need to focus on full commitment to God. We must be constantly reaching toward the Great Expectations He has for us with regard to commitment. His way is the only way to truly stay committed.

The Bible gives many examples of individuals who stayed committed to God and as a result kept their commitments to themselves and others as well. Their stories and lives provide terrific lessons we too can apply in our own struggle to stay committed.

Your commitment does not depend on the honesty of others. (Joshua 9)

Joshua made a mistake trusting the Gibeonites, yet he still kept his promise to them because he knew how God felt about keeping your word. Their being deceitful had no bearing upon whether or not Joshua kept his commitments even though doing so still had significant consequences.

Just because your circumstances change does not mean your commitment should. (Daniel 6)

Daniel showed commitment to God over a lifetime. His life spells out the most important aspects of keeping commitments: Extraordinary spirit, faithfulness, living according to God’s will, praying continually despite consequences, living under God’s protection & affecting others through commitment.

Your friends and culture do not have to agree with your commitment. (Genesis 7 & Hebrews 11:7)

Moses stayed committed to God even when he most likely faced tremendous peer and cultural pressures. Let’s be clear that scripture does not say he had peer pressure. We are making a pretty safe assumption based on the corrupt culture of the day and the fact that it had probably not rained since creation (Genesis 2:5-6). Moses kept to God’s instructions regardless of the influence of the surrounding culture or of his peers.

How you feel has nothing to do with whether or not you keep a commitment. (1 Samuel 1:11, 24-28)

Hannah was infertile and had prayed that God would open her womb and allow her to have a son. She then promised that son would belong to God “all the days of his life.” If you have children, remember back to before you had your first child. Did you even come close to imagining the depth of love you would have for him/her? With that in mind, do you think Hannah’s heart was breaking when she gave her son to the Lord while he was still very young? But she kept her commitment to God anyway regardless of what her feelings wanted her to do.

Making your life line up with God’s will sometimes means fulfilling back commitments. (Philemon)

Onesimus was Philemon’s slave who had escaped. He became a Christian, and Paul sent him back to Philemon to keep his commitment. Sometimes, we have back-commitments we’ll have to keep when we get right with God in any area of our lives.

You can still keep your commitments when others release you from them. (Ruth 1:16-18)

Ruth was under no obligation to keep her commitment to Naomi, her husband’s mother. Yet, she made the decision to stay with Naomi and never deterred from that decision. God blessed Ruth for her devotion. He blessed her for making a decision and following it all the way through totally and completely.

God Himself provides the perfect picture of commitment.

God has kept and/or is keeping His commitment to Israel (whole Old Testament), to Abram (Genesis 12:1-3 & Nehemiah 9:8, 23), and even to Satan (Genesis 3:15; 1 John 3:8; Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 15:25-26) just to name a few of the big ones. God was and is faithful to the unfaithful, rebellious, doubting & wandering.

He made His commitment to us before the world was even created. (Matthew 25:34), and His commitment to us shows we can trust Him. Likewise, when we stay committed, we build trust with God and with others.

DISCUSSION: What other biblical examples of commitment can you think of? Which one do you connect with the most & why?

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8 Responses to “Staying Committed, Part 3 of 5 – Biblical Lessons on Commitment”

  1. Mark Allman Says:

    I do think we should honor our commitments even if something changes that makes us want to back out. I believe it is a good testimony if we do so. It is even greater testimony if you have to do it at some additional cost to you.

    I also think if someone agrees to allow you out of a commitment then it is ok if you withdraw if done in a responsible manner especially if you have taken on more than you can handle and every commitment you have is suffering. What is wrong I think is to withdraw without getting an agreement from someone to allow you to do so. This should make us all cost the cost before we commit.

    I think we should also be gracious if we know someone's commitment to us is causing them hardship and we can let them out of the commitment. I do not think as Christians that we should always hold someone hostage to an unwise commitment they made to us. We should consider releasing them from the commitment if we judge it right to do so. It is also a good testimony if we release someone from a commitment to us and it cost us something to do so if we do it in a gracious way.

    I like Joseph's commitment to God after the angel visited him about Mary's being with child. I am sure Joseph had doubts and was hurt but he stayed the course.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      There certainly are times when being released from a commitment makes sense, but you're right in that there's a right and a wrong way to go about it. And my point was also that what others decide about our commitments should not necessarily be what we decide about them. We have to make the decision that we know God wants us to make based on His expectations of the commitment in our lives. And, Joseph is a great example to add for sure! Keeping a commitment when socially and legally he didn't have to. That speaks of what a real man is for sure. I have a friend who did that a couple of years ago, and I greatly respect him because he kept a commitment to his wife even though he could have been legitimately released from it.

  2. I love your final point. Remembering why we keep our commitments – and the privilege it is to carry God's image in that regard – keeps us motivated to follow through.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Motivation sure does make a huge difference. Knowing "why" we're doing something is so key. And, when it's to glorify Him, we're sure to stay committed over the long haul.

  3. […] Staying Committed, Part 3 of 5 – Biblical Lessons on Commitment […]

  4. […] Biblical Lessons on Commitment – Looked at biblical examples of individuals who stayed committed to God and as a result kept their commitments to themselves and to others. […]

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