Our lives are filled with commitments. Many of us are in school and/or work full time. We are involved in ministry at our churches. Some of us have children and families to hold together. Several of us are in relationships. On top of that, many of us are involved in organizations, causes, and community service. Amazingly, there are some people that do all of these things. My point is, we all live very active lives. Generally speaking, this is a good thing. But after so long of juggling all these things, sometimes we get into a routine. And along with routine, a lot of times, comes a lack of attention or a slack in the effort we put in. In other words... after so long of doing these things, we begin to place our focus on getting it all done instead of on making sure that we are doing it all well.
Lately I have been in prayer and seeking God, specifically, about his purpose and will for my life in terms of my day to day routines. And one thing he has been dealing with me about is my tendency to over commit myself. Like many of us, I have a hard time saying 'no' to the people and things I love. So when people ask me if I'm available to do things, I immediately start trying to find the time to do it.....even when I know I'm stretching myself too thin. I, normally, end up regretting committing myself to so many things, but I remember what God said in Deuteronomy 23:23... "Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth." The next thing I know, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to complete a task I shouldn't have committed myself to in the first place because I knew I didn't really have the time. Have you ever found yourself here? Then you know what I'm talking about. It makes you a very likable person to do everything you're asked to do. But is God pleased?
I know that, at this point, you're like... 'what does this have to do with God'? I thought the same thing. The answer is very simply... EVERYTHING. The bible says... "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." ~Colossians 3:23-24. Now... I realize that I've taken this out of context just a little. But it's not a huge stretch. The gist of Paul's message to the Colossians in this passage was to make sure that the new life they had in Christ was evident in everything they did, be it work, family...everything. How do we make our lives in Christ evident in what we do? We do that, not only, by being diligent and faithful to completing what we said we were going to do but, also, by putting an honest effort into completing the task well. Everything God does, he does well. He does not get lackadaisical in his covenants to us. We should, therefore, not expect that he would be pleased when we treat our commitments to him that way.
The part of that scripture that really stands out to me is the part where Paul says that it is the Lord Christ that we serve. No matter what we do or what earthly person or reason we do it, we need to always keep in mind that it is Christ we serve. He is watching. Therefore, when we commit ourselves to something, it's not just important THAT we do it. But it's important HOW we do it. Think about your own life and all the things to which you have ongoing commitments....your church, your family, your career, your fraternity/sorority, M2W, ect. Ask yourself if you have delegated your time in such a way that you can fulfill your obligations to these things in a way that is pleasing to God. After all, it is him that you are serving. Is he pleased with the way you handle your commitments? When you say 'yes', do you fulfill that commitment? Or do you find yourself spread too thin and end up having to back out or not perform the task effectively?
It should be our goal that God is pleased with everything we do or don't do. Always remember that when you give your word to someone, you are also giving that word unto the Lord. And he will hold us accountable to it. Here's a challenge. It's something I've challenged myself to do, and now I'm going to challenge you. Every time to you have to back out of something you said you were going to do... or every time you end up not doing something as well as you could have because you didn't allocate enough time, don't just apologize to the person. Apologize to the Lord as well. When I started forcing myself to do this, I started being careful about committing myself to things. I started being more diligent about maintaining my personal calendar so I wouldn't over commit myself. In taking this challenge, I think you'll find yourself a better manager of your time, because the last thing you'll want to have to do is repent for something so avoidable.
Be blessed =)