I was reading a fortune cookie the other day: “Punctuality is a mark of commitment.” Now, I don’t take fortune cookie philosophy too seriously, but it did cause me wonder, “Is that true, and what are the marks of commitment?” And perhaps, more importantly, “Am I committed to the Lord?”
First, yeah, I think that punctuality is a mark of commitment. It is what one does, when we love something (or someone). It shows a readiness and an eagerness to get on with the job ahead. I can almost guarantee you that your employer thinks so. Do we demonstrate punctuality in the Lord’s work?
Volunteerism is another manifestation of commitment. Committed people don’t wait around for others to volunteer for things that need to be done to accomplish the mission. Volunteering says, “I believe in this and want to be involved in this!” After Isaiah’s vision and cleansing, the LORD asked, “Who shall we send?”; Isaiah’s hand shot up, “Here am I, send me!” Do we volunteer readily or do we hang back hoping that others will do what we could?
Committed people also are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission. It doesn’t matter if it is hard, unpleasant, humble, or even strange, as long as it makes a contribution to the larger cause. The committed person is just happy to be part of something larger than himself. Paul tells us, “Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” 2 Corinthians 11:24-27. Are we willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the Lord’s mission?
Related to the willingness to do whatever it takes is the willingness to sacrifice lesser things to do what needs to be done. Committed people act sacrificially; whether it’s time, effort, talents, money, leisure, or advances in this life they are considered expendable. Paul said, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” Philippians 3:7. Are we willing sacrifice for the Kingdom?
Endurance and persistence are also marks of commitment. Committed people don’t give up easily. Knowing the importance of the cause, committed folks continue to work without giving up. Twenty-four times the New Testament encourages disciples of Jesus to endurance (hupomene, courageous, active service to the very end). Do I persevere in the Lord’s business or do I throw in the towel, when the going gets tough?
Commitment also is willing to serve the mission even when others abandon it. Some will abandon the battle, and when they do they give aid to the enemy, because it is discouraging to those who continue on. But the committed do continue on. Do we continue to serve even when others have fallen away?
And finally, commitment doesn’t offer half-measures. Commitment is “all in”, “no holds barred”, and “leaving it all on the field”. Jesus in His life and on His cross was clearly committed to you and me. Are we as committed to Him?
So, are you committed. I’ll confess I’ve got some work to do on myself. How about you? Are you really committed to the Lord and His great cause of salvation for all men?