Yesterday, I was personally challenged as I preached a sermon on commitment . . . specifically as I unpacked the “Pitfalls to Commitment.” At one time or another, all of us have been tempted with or succumb to one or all of these! So by way of challenge and encouragement, let me quickly describe Three Common Pitfalls to Commitment:
First, Distractions are all around us. In Mark 4:19 (LB), Jesus says that the pleasures and allure of this world can simply “crowd out God.” On the flip-side though, even “doing the work of ministry”, or filling our lives with “good” things can equally distract our commitment and communion with Jesus. Someone said it this way, “Don’t let the good things in life get in the way of the best things of God.” Second, Complacency often replaces making new commitments, because our tendency is to live off the old ones. For example, you might say, “back in 2005, I made a commitment to follow Christ’s call to vocational ministry.” While that is a huge milestone in your life, what have you done lately? Unfortunately, in many of our churches, I see people who “committed” to follow Christ as Lord and Savior (back in the day), but have done little to nothing since. Finally, Fear paralyzes us. The question, “What if . . .?” becomes our mantra. When we fear making commitments, it means we are living in our flesh, rather than in faith. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear . . .” 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV).
While none of these are especially profound, I was both convicted and grateful for the reminder. Ponder this question: What if Jesus had wavered in His commitment to die on the cross? Not unlike us, He too was presented with these common pitfalls! Yet He chose to overcome, and thereby made a way for us to do the same. What a glorious reminder of God’s faithfulness and sacrificial love for us. That’s a reason to rejoice in the Gospel today! “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it, and he will.” Psalm 37:5 (LB)
Director – plantCHICAGO