Today is my husband and I’s wedding anniversary. For several days now the word “commitment” has been on my mind. I have been thinking about it as it relates to my marriage, my role as a mother, my friendships, my endeavors to live a healthy life, and my relationship with Christ.
Commitment is NOT automatic. You don’t get a heavy dose, one that will last you, throughout any duration in any given area of life. Commitment must be cultivated. Commitment must be intentional. Commitment must be deliberate. Commitment must be on the forefront of one’s mind, in order to not fade and disappear into the background when the trials come. They will come.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines commitment as: a promise to do or give something; a promise to be loyal to someone or something; the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something. Synonymous with commitment is: dedication, devotion, allegiance, loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity. Commitment may begin with a promise (or accepting a challenge), and continues with one’s attitude, driving them to WORK VERY HARD to see said promise or challenge through to the end.
My husband and I promised to love one another until death parts us. However, our attitude to never give up and let go of one another has been what continues to compel us to work hard to keep that promise. And let me tell you, it has been HARD, dare I say more often than not. WE chose to stay when leaving felt like the best thing. WE chose to love when everything pointed towards resentment and anger and justification. WE chose to let go when entitlement whispered in the ear to hold on to hurts. Possessing and being active with our commitment is WHY we celebrate today.
The same holds true for any relationship. Whether with our children, family or friends – we choose to be committed to being who we need to be, for the other person’s sake. Sometimes we need to allow distance, sometimes we need to press in and be close, sometimes we need to soften our words, and other times we need to speak the hard truth. Regardless of the action, at the heart is the commitment to love and help the person we care about, grow. Help the other person receive a sense of encouragement, challenge, and edification – in order to help THEM remain committed.
When it comes to challenges, commitment is imperative. Whether taking on the challenge to revamp how we eat, train for a race, complete a devotion series, save money, follow through in an area of ministry – we need commitment. We begin with the resolve to take on the challenge, but it is the follow through, choice by choice, day by day, that makes it so. A house isn’t built by looking at the bricks and waiting for them to take shape, it’s built by intending to see the house complete and an individual laying one brick at a time until the house is done. The same is with any endeavor we take on. Each step in the right direction sets the foundation, builds the walls, and eventually gives a warm and comforting place of knowing we accomplished what we set out to do.
Jesus shares in Luke 14:28-30 one should not begin a thing until they have taken everything into consideration, fully understanding the cost of taking on said endeavor. Here He is speaking of the cost of being in a relationship with Him, which is heavy when reading the previous verses. Some may have to experience hardship with those closest to them, in order to remain committed to serving the Lord, and living out the Holy Spirit’s guidance in their life. It seems to me, this illustration possesses a principle worth gleaning: FULLY understand the cost BEFORE making the commitment. Once understanding the cost, THEN declare the promise or challenge accepted, knowing full well you are willing to pay the price, no matter how “expensive” it may be. Admittedly, I have not always done this. Excitement, exuberance and emotion got me going, but never saw me through – because feelings fade.
Reflecting today, I see where oftentimes I never fully understood the cost. I never fully knew the sacrifice. I never fully accounted for the difficulties. And I learned from many “failures” as a result. Now a days, I see how commitment and follow through is the mortar that holds nearly everything together: a marriage, relationship, resolve to complete a challenge, and running the race Christ has set before me. If your commitment seems to be waning, know it can be resurrected. It can be revived. It can be fanned and its flame will compel you to see your God given passions through.
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