Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Level of Commitment

I had an experience this past week which made me seriously examine my level of commitment to my faith. While I will not go into details since that would be gossip, I will say that it was a time in which several people said Christians tend to be hypocrites. It was said that Christians say one thing, but then live their lives in a way contrary to their words.

If you have ever read “The Pardoner’s Tale” by Geoffrey Chaucer, you will notice how Chaucer feels about hypocrisy. To him, it is the greatest of all sins. While I’m not sure what level of sin it is, I do despise hypocrisy with my entire being.

Or do I? Don’t I sometimes give Christianity a bad name when I don’t stop to help someone (such as the story of the Samaritan in the Bible) in need?

I realize now that my level of commitment needs to be blatantly obvious to everyone around me. If I become a hypocrite, I only show people that all Christians may really be hypocrites as well.

Peter in the Bible also had to examine his level of commitment when Jesus asked him this question: “Peter, do you love me?” Peter replied that he was Jesus’ friend, but Jesus asked him twice more if Peter loved him. Jesus was trying to get Peter to examine his own heart and see if he really was fully committed to Him.

Sometimes I can identify with Peter so well! He, like me, was a sinner and struggled with being completely sold out to Christ. I do that every day, and as much as I hate feeling that way, I still don’t take my level of commitment further. For some reason, I continue to sin over and over, turning my back on Jesus and discouraging people from turning to God.

Why do I do this? It is because I am afraid; afraid of taking a leap into the unknown, and afraid to take the plunge into living by God’s word alone. No longer could I fall back on my excuses and safety nets nor could I change my mind if I leapt out of my comfort zone.

So am I ready to take that risk? Oh yes, because eventually it will lead me to the greatest Reward ever known: eternal life. All of the fear inside my body will eventually dissipate because I know Jesus is holding my right hand, ready to lead me on the path He has made! His plan is so much better than mine, even if I think mine is always better.

Peter was only willing to be the friend of Jesus, but I want to go further. I want to say, “Yes Lord, I love you with my entire being!” and not be stretching the truth at all. It will not be easy, but Jesus does not call us to live lives of ease. Instead He says to “take up your cross and follow Me”. Jesus’ cross was a burden and a trial, and yet He faced it with grace and love as His life ended for three long days… If Jesus calls me to be crucified, whether literally or figuratively, I am now ready to do it, not by myself, but with Him at my side.

Are you ready? Then jump off the cliff into His arms, and take your level of commitment further than you have ever been.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What an insightful, poignant commentary on a very important issue. You are wise beyond your years. I am much older, and I am just coming to the awareness of this. I just posted a commentary on my blog a couple of days ago about commitment dated 10/05/09. You may be interested. It's called "Do we really understand who God is?" I'd be interested to know what you think. http://thoughtsalongthewalk.blogspot.com

    Pat H.