This country has commitment issues.
Congress takes forever to decide anything, couples stay together for years but don’t get married, we can’t stick with one job for more than a couple of years, owners don’t offer long-term contracts to athletes, and Christians do the church carousel hoping to find one that “works” for them.
Why can’t we commit?
Jesus speaks to the religious leaders about their commitment issues. They can’t adhere to Christ’s teachings for any period of time for several reasons. Can you identify with them?
1) They don’t commit because they’re too proud. Changing with the times is trendy, and saying you identify with something in particular makes you look arrogant and prudish. I’m not endorsing being stubborn and evading knowledge or technological evolution, but sticking with your convictions. Don’t say you’re into something, and then change your mind later because it’s inconvenient or looks dangerous. Is your pride getting in the way?
2) They don’t commit because they’re too lazy. Jesus tells the religious leaders that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering heaven ahead of them. You don’t commit because you might believe you can just do it later, or that it’s not super important right now. Unless you have some secret knowledge of your lifespan, it’s a risk not worth taking. Are you just being lazy about it?
3) They won’t commit because it doesn’t benefit themselves. A commitment to Jesus Christ requires a loss of self — I know a lot of ministers preach benefits and success, but that’s a marketing strategy, not Jesus’ actual message. Surely the Lord will bless those who pursue righteousness, but you can’t even do that without denying your selfish desires. And that’s not always convenient. Are you too concerned about how it affects yourself?
4) They won’t commit because it’s not popular. Stats say that 2 billion people worldwide identify with Christianity. But here in the U.S., Christians are almost invisible. This hurts in two ways: Christians can’t find encouragement from other believers, and those who don’t identify with Jesus don’t even have a reference point. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Jesus said would happen. The religious leaders had their own little club that kept them in power. Do you have your own desire to stay in a popular position?
5) They don’t commit because they’re concerned about reputation. Rather than make the decision, the religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus. But even then, they relented because they were afraid of the crowds who had begun to rally around the “prophet”. Today, being a follower of Jesus (especially an outspoken one) is grounds for serious scrutiny and judgment. Are you too concerned about what people think about you to commit to Jesus — for real?
If you are prone to any of these sentiments, you’re not alone. I have unquestionably let all of these factors govern my decision-making at times. Fortunately, the solution is very simple: give it up. It might be the best decision you’ve ever made.