Or if a person thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil—in any matter one might carelessly swear about—even though he is unaware of it, in any case when he learns of it, he will be guilty. Leviticus 5:4
Be careful with your commitments. Kept commitments give you credibility, but without credibility, you are a mere shell of sincerity. Unfulfilled commitments come from complex living, but simplicity facilitates follow through. Simple living creates margin, which helps you to fulfill commitments. With margin in your life, you can calculate your commitments prayerfully and practically. Does the Lord want me to be part of this initiative, organization, or relationship?
A pause to pray protects you from over-committing. Commitments need to be entered into prayerfully and practically. Does this commitment align with your purpose, calendar, and budget? If it crowds out a priority on your calendar or blows up the budget, it is not necessary. Don’t become overly influenced by the capacity of others. They may be overcommitted as well or their season of life may offer them additional margin for added opportunities.
Forgotten commitments cause us the most frustration. Forgetfulness may be a reason, but it is not an excuse. These commitments may be the worst kind because if you don’t even know you have let someone down, there is no opportunity for restitution. Foolish is a man or woman who continues to commit with a debt of unexecuted obligations mounting up on their credit card of commitment. Therefore, stop the crazy cycle of commitments before your word becomes bankrupt. Go to those who are still waiting in confused silence, and ask them for more time or ask them to let you out of the commitment. Ignoring them is not an option.
Above all else, make sure you keep your commitments to Christ. He does not take commitments cavalierly. A commitment to Christ is bound by heaven, so it is never to be entered into carelessly. All other commitments flow out of your submission to your Savior. Your ”yes” to Jesus is not sentimental, but sincere and even sacrificial. His Spirit leads your conscience to commit. It may be a big thing like salvation, for at conversion you committed to believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, but your commitment to Christ goes way beyond conversion, to our growth and maturity.
As followers of Jesus, you commit to follow Him in trust and obedience. You stay true to this commitment to follow Him even when it is not convenient, or when it may cost you something. You commit to church because it is the Bride of Christ. We commit where Christ commits. Are you engaged in His best or have your commitments become a snare to Kingdom productivity? Do not commit to any more than you have in time, money, and character. Make Christ-centered commitments your filter of choice.
The Bible says, “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, protect me from over-commitment, so I can give my best for You, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Application: What commitment do I need to follow through with even though my heart is not engaged in the project, person or organization?
Related Readings: Isaiah 19:21; Jeremiah 44:25; Psalm 89:34; Matthew 5:37; 2 Peter 3:9