There is an epidemic of lack of commitment in our world today. So many of us are good beginners, but not so good at finishing what we started. We start many things, like weight loss programs, bible studies, recovery programs, relationships, etc. Many times when things get difficult it’s so easy to abandon the commitments to the things that we started with such good intentions.
We break our commitments many times without giving it more than a passing thought. Several times I have been at the receiving end of a broken commitment. This can be very painful and it’s very easy to become resentful and judgmental of those who break their commitments to us. Recently, someone I care about very much broke a commitment to me. It’s been a daily struggle to keep myself from being resentful and lashing out in my resentment. There has been a strong desire to call this person out and let them know how much they have hurt me.
This morning God began to remind me of those commitments I have broken with others. There have been so many times that I have over-committed myself and then had to break many of the promises I’ve made as a result. I’ve learned that if people in my life are not keeping their commitments to me, many times there are areas where I am not keeping my commitments. The phrase you get what you give comes to mind.
Sometimes the commitments that get broken are the ones I make to myself. It can be very easy to break a commitment with ourselves, but this can have devastating consequences. When we constantly break our commitments, we lose our integrity, we give others permission to break their commitments with us, and we can become judgmental of others.
There are a few things we can do in order to be commitment keepers.
1) Keep the commitments you make to yourself. If we keep commitments with ourselves we are showing others how important commitment is to us.
2) Don’t over commit. Keep a schedule and be mindful of your personal energy level and prior commitments. This is one I struggle with the most because of my character defect of being a people pleaser.
3) Don’t commit lightly. Before we make a commitment, we should think about what we are committing to and keep that firmly planted in our mind so that when it becomes difficult to keep our commitment we can remind ourselves of why we made it in the first place. Luke 14:28-30 “28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
4) Be determined to keep our promises. Once we have committed we need to stick with it if at all possible. If we commit to finish something, we need to make every effort to see it through, especially if we struggle in this area. People who have intimacy issues struggle in this area the most in relationships. They will usually go to a certain level in a relationship and quit when others become too close.
5) Focus on ourselves and our commitments first. If we start with ourselves, we are leading by example and will have more of an impact on those around us.
When we become better commitment keepers ourselves, we give those around us permission to do the same.
What commitments are you struggling with keeping?