main index              back to "To the Christians"

COMMITMENT

CHAPTER 20

Commitment is not something you begin to do. It is something you have always done.

Thought: There are no uncommitted men.

Word: Matt. 12:30: "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."

Conclusion: Commitment is our only option.

"Commitment" does not seem to be a popular word. We hardly realize it but our only true satisfaction in life comes from our commitments. We will take a look at commitment and discover some things about it you may not have considered. Commitment looks like it has deteriorated in recent times. This deterioration of commitment hasn't happened without cause. As our society has grown larger and more complex, we have allowed to live lives that seem to be without commitment. We imagine that if we commit ourselves we will bring trouble. Apathy seems to be a nice resting place for us. The truth remains: you cannot avoid commitments. If you choose to be noncommittal, you are making a commitment. A commitment to nothing is a real commitment. It is one that will lead to a life of victimization, accidents and failures. Why? Because, the universe is designed to work for you.

There is an essential dichotomy here. There are only two places to be: one is to commit one's self to a goal and plan of action in one's life, and the other is to commit one's self to non-commitment and failure. Commitment and agreement are very closely related. You cannot agree to something without committing to it. And, conversely, you cannot keep a commitment without agreement.

The person who refuses to make commitment part of his life opens himself to a life of lying about commitments. A man agrees to meet a friend for lunch at a certain place and time; he doesn't make that commitment and, later that day, gets a call from his friend asking what happened. He may tell a story about his car, or other things coming up. He will probably not tell the truth, that he forgot, which would indicate the friend's real importance to him, or that he actually chose not to make the lunch. When we don't own up to our own responsibility in breaking our commitments, we are lying to ourselves and any others who are involved.

Being late is another example of failure to keep commitments. When we agree to be some place at a certain time, that is a commitment. If we are late, that is saying that we don't value the other person's time, or that we don't care and chose to be late. It is interesting to see how some people are constantly late. They always have what seems to be a plausible excuse, but the fact remains, they are always late. In this case, the truth is that this person has made a commitment to be late. It is true that their reasons for being late are real ones. They may have really had all the "bad luck" they claim. The real truth is, though, they are responsible for their created environment and that includes their supposed reasons for being late. If an announcement were made to a group of persons that at a certain time each of them would be given one million dollars in gold coins at a certain address, and they absolutely couldn't be late, there wouldn't be a single person late. In fact, most of them would probably be several hours early just to make sure they weren't late. Lateness is created, and there is no excuse for it. A man who will commit himself to honor other people's time and be on time to his commitments will be able to create being on time.

The difference between a life of commitment and one of non-commitment is intention. If a person fully intends to keep commitments, that commitment will have power. The universe will see to it that you are able to keep your commitments if you intend and are determined to do so. This is not mystical nor magic. No "miracles" or tricks will happen to aid you. The universe is simply designed through its laws to allow you to keep your commitments. Life works best if we choose to do what is important. This intention produces power in accordance with universal law. If we are committed to the important things in our lives, the power will be available to carry through with those important things. If a man is in his integrity about a commitment, and that is critically important, the universe will function so as to support him in fulfilling the commitment. In 1961, John F. Kennedy, then President, committed America to put a man on the moon before 1970. Even though he didn't live to see the fulfillment of that commitment, it was fulfilled. The reason is that the entire nation took up the commitment. Major industry devoted time and manpower to the project. The laws of physics and space flight were followed meticulously, Congress committed the required funding and Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon on July 20, 1969. We can see our commitments through, or lose them in the process. If a man is building a house and loses the vision of a complete house halfway through, he will quit and have a half-finished house. Whether he finishes or does not finish that house, it is a truth that he did create the results, he alone is responsible.

Commitment involves being on purpose about something. If America hadn't been on purpose about getting to the moon, we wouldn't have gotten off the ground. You can see people around you all of the time who are and are not on purpose about their lives. When a person has a goal, they must be on purpose towards achieving that goal. Being on purpose brings about commitment. Our country is full of persons who aren't on purpose about anything. Of course, being on purpose about nothing is being on purpose about something...nothing. As we said earlier, commitment to nothing is a commitment, one that will lead to a frustrated and wasted life. A person who is not on purpose about life cannot ever get complete about anything in his life.

Much has been written and said about success and goals. The truth is: if you have a goal that is within your integrity, are on purpose and committed to it, you will create having that goal. Commitment allows creation. Being on purpose means going after those things which will aid in obtaining a goal. It also means ignoring those things which detract from the goal. This must be done within your integrity. You must be keeping universal law within your sphere of knowledge in order to be on purpose and achieve a goal. Avoid circumstances that sway you from your goal. Being on purpose means not participating in things that are counter-productive to your goals or integrity.

The Bible illustrates the principles of commitment and being on purpose. We read in 1 Kings 17 about the widow's oil and flour that didn't run out and, in Joshua 10 we see the sun standing still, and in Matthew 14, about the feeding of the five thousand people. Each of these illustrates being on purpose. Jesus was on purpose about feeding those people. The circumstance of having only five loaves and two fishes didn't deter Him from His goal. Joshua wasn't bothered by the fact that the night comes at a certain time. He needed more sunlight and was on purpose about having it. The widow was willing to ignore the obvious starvation that stared her and her son in the face to obey the prophet and, as a result, had all she needed. If there had been a lack of commitment, a lack of purpose, if these people had been deterred by seeming obstacles, the woman and her son would have starved, the children of Israel would have lost the battle in the darkness, and the five thousand would have gone home hungry.

Being on purpose means not doubting or wavering in your integrity. "But let him ask in faith; nothing wavering, For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." James 1:6,7. If our faith in what we are doing is weak and wavering, we are sure to fail as we are to succeed if it is strong. By not being on purpose we will absolutely not get what it is that we think we want. Wavering and doubt can destroy goals faster than anything can. Wavering is like building a house and not wanting to. We create delay and confusion. We may be on purpose, committed to a goal and have all of that power at our disposal, or we may waver and doubt and have none of the power. If we choose to approach our life from a point of weakness, we will never realize success. We must deal with life from a position of strength. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might...." If we are approaching life from the strength of our integrity, we will do all with might. We will be on purpose and committed to success and goals. We will do all of this in perfect harmony to the laws of the universe and the will of the divine mind.

The Christian commitment of believing what is so is always tested with our life. Luke 14:26: "If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Complete victory belongs to those who spend it all. We must not let the opinions and ideas of those close to us turn us from our intensity of purpose. If it is possible for a family member to deter us from our goal, he will. One illustration from a more mundane circumstance of life may be found with our sayings. We may say, "I believe God will provide, but just in case he doesn't, I'll use my savings." Guess what? You will use your savings. "I believe that God will supply my needs but just in case, I'll borrow it." Guess what? You will borrow it. God will give you the least you'll settle for. God measures your intention with your integrity. The universe is never fooled. Sorry, folks, no tricks.

The cross of Christ is a picture of what success costs. Matt. 10:38: "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me is not worthy of me." Commitment is to bet your life on the Word as what is so. We must learn vulnerability before we can learn invulnerability. Jesus stood before the tomb of Lazarus. He had faith that Lazarus would rise. Do you suppose He said to Himself, "I sure hope this works." When Moses parted the Red Sea do you not suppose His life was on the line? What if the Red Sea had not opened? How long do you suppose he would have lived? This is vulnerability; this is putting one's life into his commitment. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." He was saying in this, "I am the way it's done; follow me, do life as I did it." That is our only guarantee of success. Finally, the cross is the picture of when commitment should end. That should be only when we have ended. Commitment doesn't get done until it's done.

Remember, the most God can give you is the least you will settle for. God quits when you do. We may think, you mean life is all just a bunch of hard work? No! Life is truly happiness, joy, success, progress and victory. And the way we get that is according to the way everything has been set up to work. Look at life. You will see that that is the way it is. The other option is death, and that is no enjoyment at all.

Commitment - Bible Study

1. There are no uncommitted men.

Matt. 12:30: "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."

2. Whoever will be fully committed in Christ, must invest his life in Him.

Matt. 16:25: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

3. If one will commit himself to what is true, it will have to be above all the opinions and dominations of those who influence us.

Luke 14:26: "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."

4. Wavering is a sure way not to get what commitment guarantees.

James 1:6,7: "He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord."

5. Anything worth doing is worth doing with commitment.

Eccl. 9:10: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

Self-Knowledge Resumé

  1. To what am I committed? Look at your life and describe it. (Please, no flowers).
  2. Do I see that I am committed to all those circumstances that keep me from those things I say I want to do?
  3. Am I committed to be overweight? (You may know the answer on the scales).
  4. Am I committed to having the job I do not want?
  5. Am I committed to having problems with others in my association?
  6. Am I committed to letting my children go without keeping their commitments to me?
  7. Am I committed to illness?
  8. Am I committed to the cookie jar?
  9. Am I a committed liar? One may know this by seeing if one ever lies.
    • Illustration: Someone invites you to a prayer meeting. You do not want to go. Instead of saying the truth and telling them you do not want to go their company bores you or you can only stand God once a week you say, I have a flat tire or there is too much snow, or I don't feel well.
  10. Do I go ahead and do what I want even if circumstances would give me plenty of reason not to do it?
  11. Do I find myself more committed to my doctor, chiropractor, shopping or some other pleasant thing, than the company of God and His children?
  12. Am I more committed to the world than God? Explain.

« Last | Next »