In this era of “disposables”, commitment has become a real problem, especially in relationships, courtships, marriages, homes, schools, churches, and workplaces.
We have become so used to disposable cutlery, disposable plates, disposable diapers, disposable syringes etc.; so we are tempted to cultivate an attitude that goes for disposable jobs, disposable appointment to positions of responsibility, disposable relationships etc., and even disposable parenting, and disposable marriages too! Lord help us!
We must recognize that serious commitment to duties and responsibilities, and the decision to become devoted to hard work that yields satisfying results, is becoming a tough issue for our younger generation. We must wake up and discuss this issue, and teach our children to learn about the importance of sacrificial labour that yields a profit.
We need to encourage our young ones to observe important values and principles that make one a committed and responsible citizen in our communities.
If we neglect to help our children to learn genuine commitment, they will not be able to take good care of the legacies that the adults and parents are struggling to leave behind for them to manage. Several of them will even regard sexuality, marriage, and family life as a joke!
Real Commitment is more than being a mere busybody with activities, or physical presence with no plan and motivation to interact and bond to people and be of service to them.
We must note that “interest” is not “commitment”.
Deep interest, in particular, can deceive us to think we are very committed; but when the challenges of our duties confront us, and the winds and the storm of life begin to pound on us as we try to make progress, we suddenly start to panic, lose courage, and withdraw.
The difference is:
“Interest” gives excuses.
“Commitment” gives no excuses.
There are four major aspects of commitment for every situation in life. If one aspect falls short, the commitment strength becomes weakened. If more than one aspect lags behind or is neglected, then your commitment will be poorer still.
These four components of commitment are:
1) COMMITMENT TO GOD
You need to derive your strength, energy, and guidance from God’s power and grace, in order to be able to clearly know what to do at all times, and also obtain the ability to deal with people and situations effectively.
As you continue to build the fear of God, you become devoted to the principles of God that would motivate and empower you to become devoted to society, your responsibilities, and ultimately devoted to the people you deal with, as human beings created in the image of God.
If you employ only human efforts to work out your commitment (to your date, fiancée, spouse, in-law, family member, Christian brother or sister, pastor, church, organization, ministry leader, congregation member, co-worker, boss, employee, political leader, people in your constituency, business partner, friend, etc.) without dependence on God’s grace, power and His promises, then your gas will run out real quick! You will be bored, discouraged, and become fed up or frustrated and quit.
Without the power and grace of God at work in your life, your love, kindness, sacrifices, diligence, patience, endurance, and perseverance will wear very thin for you to become deflated and be a quitter somewhere down the road. This explains why people, who initially claim to die in love for each other, or exhibit unparalleled zeal in business ventures, career development, organizational involvement, politics, ministerial position or activity, etc., can break relationships very painfully, have bitter divorce, quit their jobs, abandon projects, resign from positions, move away from home, leave ministries and churches, throw in the towel, and give up trying.
Your commitment to God is established through the acceptance of Jesus into your heart (centre of your soul) as Savior and Lord, followed by daily commitment to meditate on God’s word, plus fervent prayers. These form the foundation for true commitment to God.
2) COMMITMENT TO THE ESTABLISHED INSTITUTION OR ORGANIZATION
You need to know the details of the organization or institution that you are involved in, the rules and regulations, obligations, benefits, and reason for its existence before you can clearly define your commitment to it.
Taking marriage, for example, you must know that it is a covenant relationship between one man and one woman that should never be broken once it is established and consummated.
Marriage is also a holy institution and is the highest institution of God on earth, created and established by God alone for the success of mankind, and to His glory. God, therefore, must has the final word in any marriage and family matters.
No matter your age, or your religious, social, educational, political, or economic status, there are obligations expected by society to be fulfilled by any married person.
Once you marry, you must be committed fully to the institution of marriage, and stick permanently to your husband or wife alone.
You must make diligent efforts to build a strong family, and play all of your expected roles in the marriage and home.
Every city or country has rules and regulations, as well as guidelines established for the smooth and effective running of that society. If you live in that city or country, you must be committed to the regulations and customs of the institutional set-up of that community.
3) COMMITMENT TO YOUR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Whether it is marriage, family life, workplace, church, school, business, organisation, a position of authority, or any area in our communities, there are duties expected of each member of the particular set-up.
You are required, for example, to pay your taxes and cooperate with members of that community for communal labour that benefits everyone. Each of us must know our required roles, wherever we are and whatever we become involved in.
We must perform our expected roles as best as we know how to the level of excellence, and to the glory of God.
We have to make a firm decision to be committed to our duties and responsibilities in every institution or relationship with people.
4) COMMITMENT TO THE INDIVIDUAL OR PERSONS YOU RELATE TO OR WORK WITH
The final level of commitment must be to the person or people that you relate to. This is the next most important aspect of commitment and devotion, after commitment to God.
You cannot simply work your way to success with the performance of multiple tasks and get caught up in the frenzy of organizational activities, while you pay little or no attention to the human beings involved.
A pastor or ministry leader can even get carried away by sermons, board meetings, ceremonies, official functions, and spiritual gymnastics to the extent where little attention and care will be given to the congregation members.
A husband and a wife can have children in a marriage, try to provide material needs, and gather a lot of trophies without building any meaningful relationship between the spouses and among each other in the marriage or family.
It makes little sense to work very hard and just purchase piles of material things for the home as your duty; seek to acquire property; cook and engage in household chores; pay bills; become engrossed in business and investments; and provide other needs; while you have no time to communicate and build close relationship or genuine concern in your heart for the people involved in your life and whom you provide for.
We do not discount the fact that we must fulfil our duties in our homes or at the workplace and institutions and for all relationships. Even if our love and commitment fall short, it is still encouraging to know that we perform such duties, which will help us to be on the road to real commitment. But when your life primarily revolves around human activities and material things without the use of all these OPPORTUNITIES TO BUILD CORDIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE, then it is likely that you do all those “great things” in order to feel good within yourself as a hero in a selfish manner, without being motivated by real love for the people you claim to help support.
Your good deeds will not simply earn you high marks before God and grant you open entrance into His Kingdom if you do not submit your good deeds to God and use the gifts to build good relationships with people.
A pastor, ministry leader, or evangelist could preach and teach until he or she sweats to drench his attire and loses the voice, and can organize all the imaginable programs under the sun for the church or ministry, but could still have very little commitment to building any heart-to-heart relationship with the members of the congregation, ministry, or fellowship.
Usually, people make the effort to get committed to a spouse, child, parent, in-law, family member, friend, colleague etc., and find that they are struggling helplessly to accept, love, accommodate, and associate with that person. This is mainly because they miss the foundational steps of first working on their commitment to the God of the people.
After that, they must work hard on their commitment to the institutions and situations that they are involved in with the respected individuals.
This must be followed by a diligent commitment to their respected duties and responsibilities in the relationship before they would have the knowledge and power to work out genuine commitment to the people they are struggling to love, accept, and become committed to.
We must make every effort to use every available resource at our disposal to build wise, peaceful, and productive relationships, and be people builders at home and outside of our homes, instead of the wrong focus on merely building physical structures, organizations, means of enjoyment, and fame.
By Rev. Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo. Professor of Biology, Virginia. International Evangelist. Bible Teacher. Author. Conference Speaker. Relationships, Marriage, and Family Counselor. Founder and President, Fruitful Ministries International Incorporated (An Evangelistic and Teaching Christian Organization).
By: Rev. Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo