Let’s be real: What if people just spoke exactly what was on their mind and exactly what they were thinking; no reading between the lines. What if you had a friend who told you the truth, even when you didn’t want to hear it? Would that friendship last? What if we actually listened to the wisdom of others who have been down the road a time or two. What if we were allowed to share freely without the worry or fear of being judged? What if everyone were committed no matter what? I ask these questions because I crave relationships more than ever that are true, honest, and real!
A little bit about me. I grew up as a pastor’s daughter in a charismatic/evangelical church. From the time I was two years old my father was the senior pastor. So, I have seen many people come and go throughout my life. Some of these people for good reasons, some for dumb reasons, and some were a good riddance and I say that in the kindest way possible. Don’t get me wrong, I truly love people, and if you knew me personally you would know that is an honest statement. These were people that said they were committed. I am sure that as I was growing up my parents protected me from many people I thought were safe and healthy, but too nieve to know the difference. However, now in my 30’s, a wife and a mother, I wish I was still a little bit nieve about people.
Growing up in the church surrounded by people often older than I, caused me to be confident, bold, and secure in who I was. Talking with people and meeting new people were never a challenge. Heading up a small group or leading a worship team were never difficult. What became difficult was when people would come into my life and tell me they were meant to be my best friend and committed to being my friend, and then suddenly leave my life for one reason or another. Where was the commitment they promised? My parents always taught us that being committed to something or someone was not to be taken lightly. If you believed in something or someone, you give all; even if it gets tough, even if it doesn’t make sense, even when you don’t feel it anymore, you give all. My parents, happily married over 35 years, have been an amazing example of what it means to be committed.
Commitment these days is hard to find anywhere!Where has commitment gone in friendships, in marriage, in churches, in business, in beliefs., etc? We are living in an age where if you don’t like what you have, you can trade it in or upgrade to the newer or latest model. The sad thing is that this mentality has bled into our personal and relational lives. We don’t like our spouse, so we divorce and trade in for a different model that we can get along with. We don’t like our friend, so lets get on the social network and make some new ones. The pastor didn’t shake our hand this last Sunday, now we don’t like our church; there are about 3-5 churches every few blocks so pick a new one. Don’t like the roast of coffee at the local gas station, so go up the road and find a new brew. We don’t like who leads the volunteer shelter downtown, so we find something new to believe in and support. It is amazing to me how frequently this happens. If you were to stop and think about it for a minute, most of us would probably be guilty of doing something very similar.
Well, I want commitment!!! Why is commitment so hard to find? Are we afraid to talk? Are we afraid of being rejected if we share what we are truly thinking? Do we think that our thoughts and feelings don’t count, so why bother? Do we really think that we are not capable of bringing a healthy change to a situation? Do we doubt ourselves, so we run from commitment? Or is it for selfish reasons we don’t commit? Carrying the attitude: this doesn’t work for me, so I quite. Just imagine how strong we would be in our friendships and relationships if we were committed. We would be creating healthy families and communities, businesses and volunteer services would be able to provide top customer service and the best care, and churches and small groups would grow and impact society like they were created to do; if we would embrace commitment.
So, why not commit?