When you and I make commitments that affect others, each promise that we make pushes us to a higher level of Christian commitment and spiritual growth. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
With some people commitment is anathema. The more they commit to, the surer they are that, in the end, they will be the ones who get burned. They run from obligations and hide from responsibilities. Simply, they never put themselves in the way of difficult promises since they are more worried about failure than they are concerned with success. This may be the safer course, but it is not the best one. Sometimes there are times when we must commit, even when the promise is a difficult one.
With most promises, it isn’t a matter of ability that determines whether or not they are kept; it most often depends upon the will and not talent. For the husband who knows that every playoff game is important during the football season, believe me, it is will and not ability that allows him to watch every game as well as keeping all of his other husbandly commitments. During the playoff season, by necessity, commitment is often pushed to a higher level.
Promises in the life of a Christian ought always to be taken in that spirit as well. Simply, there are commitments that require more of our will than of our talents. These are always a temptation to avoid but ought always be foremost in our thinking as true, Christian disciples. The brilliant Christian scholar and writer C. S. Lewis took that truth seriously. His biography tells of the suffering he endured because he kept a promise he had made to a buddy during World War I. This friend was worried about the care of his wife and small daughter if he should be killed in battle, so Lewis assured him that if that were to happen he would look after them. As the war dragged on, the man was killed. True to his word, Lewis took care of his friend’s family. Yet no matter how helpful he tried to be, the woman was ungrateful, rude, arrogant, and domineering. Through it all, Lewis kept forgiving her. He refused to let her actions become an excuse to renege on his promise. (Selected. Biography of C.S. Lewis.)
Lewis could have easily failed on this commitment. He was a bachelor, with little or no experience with home and chil- dren. No doubt he thought of this when he made the promise to his friend. No doubt he weighed the possibility of failure as well. Ultimately, in the end, he made the determination that despite his lack of talent, he possessed the will to follow through on the promise. He made little mention of it during his life and it was only a brief passage in his biography. Commitment like this are not the product of pride or bragging. Rather, they are the result of will power and love. When you and I make commitments that affect others, it is important to remember that each promise that we make pushes us to a higher level of Christian commitment and spiritual growth. Pride has nothing to do with it. It’s all about the will.
We pray. Heavenly Father, we make promises every day of our lives. These are just a part of how we communicate with others, friends and others alike. Forgive us when we are too anxious to make promises that we haven’t given much thought to. Help us to take the time to evaluate what we might be promising and the impact that a broken promise might have on someone who is relying on our word. Give us the will to guard our promises with care and act on those we have truly thought out well. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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