14 January, 2010

What Are You Committed To?

When Jesus was asked, 'Which is the greatest commandment?' He answered, '...Love the Lord...and...Love your neighbor as yourself.' (Matthew 22:37-39 NIV) I really think that our greatest commitments should be based on the two greatest commandments. I mean, if these two things are the things that Jesus says are the greatest commandments, would it not reason that this is where our strongest, most pertinent commitments should lie? Makes sense to me.
The problem is we get so wrapped up in life that we find ourselves getting involved with things that keep us from doing this. The Bible says: 'No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs-he wants to please his commanding officer.' (2 Timothy 2:4 NIV) In other words, be careful what you commit to.

So, I find myself this morning thinking about things that I, as well as others, find themselves committed to. As a pastor, I find it difficult at times to not allow myself to become committed to things that will hinder my walk with the Lord or hinder my ability to best minister in the area where God has placed me as shepherd. Just yesterday I found myself in a situation where I had to ask myself, "just what am I committed to?" Without going into great detail, a particular family called me wanting me to come over to help them deal with their "crisis." Now understand, this same "crisis" arises in this group of people about once ever two to three weeks. I've been over to supposedly help them work through this exact same "crisis" more times in the past six months than I can count. Same thing, over and over and over. As I was talking to this person on the phone I realized that I was once again about to get sucked into and committed to something that I knew would eat up 6 to 10 hours of my time over the next week, and I decided, "not now, not ever again." I said to the person, "If I commit my time, prayer and energy to you and your family in this, are you going to actually follow my advice this time, or are you going to ignore my advice and continue to do the same thing you've done over and over and over?" The response was less than positive, in fact the person was furious that I'd say such a thing to them. I quoted to them the definition of insanity that Albert Einstein coined, " doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I told the person that they could stay on that merry-go-round if they choose to, but that I was finished. I said that if they would actually follow my advice, I'd come, but if they were not going to commit to try what I had suggested to them literally dozens of times, then I was not going to bother coming over. Some would say that is harsh, but I've come to a place that I refuse to commit to anything anymore that is going to be a drain on me and pull me away from my life's calling and more importantly, my time with God.

So, let me ask you: What are YOU committed to? I have to be honest that I am just stunned at the commitments I see people make. May I just be bold enough to say that if your commitments are continually pulling you away from the House of Worship, from prayer, from Bible reading and meditation on God's Word... you are completely out of line with your commitments. I've probably already made someone mad, so I might as well finish it. We give a very small amount of our time to corporate worship and sitting under the teaching and preaching of the Word of God. In my own church, we have a total of 3 and a half hours a week. But countless people cannot give God this much time on a regular basis. Then there are many who come on Sunday morning, and regularly have to leave after an hour or so because they have made other commitments. When you cannot sit through a two hour worship service without having to leave for other things, then your commitments are misplaced. Their actions are saying that that thing that they have to leave for is more important than worshiping God. There is an old saying that really rings true here: "Actions speak louder than words."

What are YOU committed to? Many are committed more to breakfast (or lunch) with friends. Many are committed to a football game. Many are committed to the television. In fact, what really triggered this blog was someone telling me that they (and I quote) "hate that I missed church last night, but I am committed to watching American Idol." Wow. How would you like to stand before Jesus one day and hear yourself saying that you were committed to ANYTHING more than you were the Lord, Jesus Christ?

Again, I ask you... What are you committed to?

1 comment:

PK said...

I just read your blog and have been feeling the same type things. In fact, I was just mentioning to someone from church recently that in Matt.10:27 it says "He that loveth father, mother, son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me". And I told this person I was going to ask you if that applies to spouses or other "things". I just feel there are so many who are not in the congregation regularly because of misplaced priorities. It's like they have some other "god" before our GOD. Just wanted to let you know, you're not alone.