Most of us make commitments, vows, and promises that hold no weight because they are rooted in our own self-interest. Most of our lives are driven by these small commitments (whims) – to a lifestyle, to a work, to a belief, to an ideology, to a way of presenting yourself. It is not that these things are unimportant, but most often they are not worth our full trust. They are not solid enough to hold the weight of our being. They are not transcendent enough to make a difference in the world in God’s name.
The commitments that have the power to hold us, to shape us, to make a difference in our world come from a much deeper, more substantive place. They come from within us, from the place within us where we are most deeply and intimately connected to God. This is why it is extremely important for Christians to spend time reexamining their commitments on a regular basis.
The vows that really count in life are those which arise from our truest, most authentic self. They are the promises we make which give God glory, which make me come more fully alive, and which impart life and healing onto others and the world.
- Take some time to give some silence and solitude to consider your commitments.
- To what am I committed? Make a list of the: people, groups, institutions, beliefs/philosophies/ideologies, lifestyles, ideals
- Then, for each one I ask, “Why am I committed to this person/group/etc.?” What is behind this commitment? From where does this commitment originate within me? What part of me does this commitment represent?
- Bring what you experience in this exercise into your prayer. Tell God honestly how you feel about what you see about yourself. Listen to what God says to you.
The renewal of commitments is necessary. These times remind me of who I am. They also remind me of how I have not attained the mark, how I depend on God’s mercy, and how I need God’s Spirit to enliven my days.