Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Let our "yes be yes"

       Today I've been thinking about one of my pet peeves--not following through on commitments, so I might as well talk about it!  It seems to me that it gives Christianity a bad reputation when we say we will do something but then change our minds if something more interesting or pressing comes our way.  Isn't one of our main responsibilities as Christians to represent Christ to the world--to show them what He is like?  Do we want those who don't know Him to think He is like us--that our "yes" means "yes" only as long as nothing else more interesting or important comes up--as long as we don't have to put ourselves out too much to do it?
      I remember when I was a child, one of the things my parents taught us was to be "a man of our word" or in my case, "a woman of my word."  If we said we were going to do something, then as much as it was in our control we were to do it, no matter what came up in the meantime.  If it was at all possible, we were to honor our commitment.  We were to finish the job we began or the team we committed to play on.  We were to show up on time.   We were to do whatever it was we said we would do.  In our world today it seems that is no longer a goal to be sought.  We are now a society of doing "whatever we want to do; whatever pleases us; whatever we feel like doing."
     Have you ever been in leadership or hosted meetings or scheduled a work day where several people committed to come (or worse yet--help) and then very few showed up?  I have attended many.  In fact, it seems to be the norm these days.  We are no longer a society that honors our commitments.  To me there is nothing more frustrating or disappointing than to plan an event or meeting based on others' stated intent to attend, only to find out when the event occurs that many decided to do something else at the last minute.  That is so dishonoring to those who spent time preparing.  I understand that we are all busy and that some things come up that we just can't avoid, but for the most part I believe many of us don't fully commit in the first place even though we say "yes."  Instead we wait to see if something more interesting comes up or if we "feel" like going when the time approaches.
     Remember how Jesus talked about preferring others?  I don't see that happening much anymore.  We are a society who doesn't appear to think, or care, about the time, energy, and money that those who volunteered to host the meeting have spent in preparation, or to realize they don't have the luxury of not showing up if they would prefer to be doing something else.
      I believe one reason for this is that we no longer take God's Word seriously.  We don't study it to see what He says about how we are to live.  Have you ever looked up the "one another" scriptures?  Here are some of the phrases used in the Bible to explain how we are to act towards others:  love one another, prefer one another, be devoted to one another, honor one another, serve one another, encourage one another, submit to one another, be kind to one another, teach and admonish one another,  have fellowship with one another, greet one another, offer hospitality to one another.  Just trying to implement these alone would change the world.  I really don't see much in the scriptures about doing what we feel like doing.  (i.e.  Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me.)
      It is time that we set our hearts and minds to follow His instruction.  It is time that we let our "yes be yes" and our "no be no."

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