“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in so doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
1 Timothy 4:16
Sometimes, making a commitment is the easy part! We can easily promise to be involved in a community event or pledge money to charity. The hard part can be following through and actually getting involved or writing that check. When it comes to our spiritual lives, however, not keeping our promises to God can have tragic results.
Our lack of commitment can sometimes be caused by our own covetousness. Genesis 13 tells us the story of the division between Abraham and Lot. The younger Lot chose to claim lush, fertile land and leave the harsher, drier land to his older uncle. Because of this choice, Lot ended up losing his family to the wickedness of the city of Sodom.
Another cause of our lack of commitment can be pride. Proverbs 16:18 reminds us that, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Are we willing to take advice and counsel from others? When we feel that we are the only ones we can really trust, we are headed for disaster in our personal lives.
Sometimes, selfishness can lead us not to keep our promises to God. Proverbs 14:14 tells us, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways.” When we replace “Thy will be done” with “My will be done,” we are in real trouble!
Other times, we are just living in disobedience when we do not keep our commitments to the Lord. King Saul turned from following God, according to 1 Samuel 15:11, and his decision cost him the kingdom. God replaced him with King David. When we do not keep our promises to the Lord, we should examine our lives for disobedience.
2 Timothy 4:10 gives the sad example of a man named Demas who left the apostle Paul because he loved the things of this world more than he loved God’s messenger. This danger is perhaps even greater in the twenty-first century than it was in the first century as we struggle with a world where our worth is sometimes measured by how much “stuff” we possess.
Whatever the reason, we must re-commit ourselves to continuing in the things we have been taught and keeping the promises and spiritual commitments we have made. Only then can we expect God’s blessings!