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The Joys of Commitment

“How did you do that?” asked the woman when I bragged that my husband and I were celebrating 50 years of marriage this summer. In a word, my answer is commitment. We didn’t take a trial time of living together to see if we were compatible. We didn’t go into marriage with the idea that if things didn’t work out, we’d just separate or get a divorce. When I walked down the aisle, I remember thinking to myself, “You’re doing this once. Take your time and walk slowly so that you never forget this beautiful moment.”

You might be asking some other questions. Didn’t you ever disagree? Were times always perfect? Did you ever become angry with one another? Were you ever tempted to call it quits? My answers are that we have had disagreements over the 50 years because we are imperfect humans. Times were not always perfect because we are imperfect humans. Yes, we have become angry with one another from time to time because we are imperfect humans. No, we were never tempted to call it quits because, as imperfect humans, we knew we had to commit our marriage to our perfect God and we are so thankful for His blessings. It seems that many people appear to struggle with the concept of commitment, not only to marriage but even meetings, jobs and spiritual lives.

George Barna of the highly respected Barna research group, makes some interesting statements about spiritual commitment.

“Americans are willing to expend some energy in religious activities such as attending church and reading the Bible and they are willing to throw some money in the offering basket. Because of such activities, they convince themselves that they are people of genuine faith. But when it comes to truly establishing their priorities and making a tangible commitment to knowing and loving God, and to allowing Him to change their character and lifestyle, most people stop short. We want to be ‘spiritual’ and we want to have God’s favor, but we’re not sure we want Him taking control of our lives messing with the image and outcomes we’ve worked so hard to produce.” (To see this and other comments on this topic, go to www.barna.com/research/ americans-have-commitment-issues-new-survey-shows/)

Is it true that we, generally speaking, don’t trust God enough to truly commit to Him as we are instructed? “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this; He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” (Psalm 37:4-6 NIV) As we commit to Him, He will mold our desires to match with His. He will direct our plans and paths so that life will be more fulfilling as we do what He asks us to do. Will the desire for the best house, best figure, best reputation, best car and best job automatically be ours? Not necessarily, but what He does give will be of monumental eternal value. “Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (I Timothy 4:8 NIV). Let’s reevaluate our commitment to our Creator, Sustainer and Eternal Father.

Helen recently published “Ordinary Life, Extraordinary God” that contains about 1/3 of the devotionals written for the Minot Daily over the last 20+ years. It is available online or send a letter to The Minot Daily News which they will get to her. Contact her directly with comments or for a local copy at Jesusisthereason01@gmail.com.

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