And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city. (Acts 18:9, 10)

Today’s need for commitment is overwhelming! The failure to grasp the meaning of commitment provides many false concepts of loyalty! It seems selfish attitudes control more of our actions and behaviors than does the concept of commitment. Today people seem more concerned about personal pleasure, freedom from difficulty, or convenience than in being a person God or others can trust. “Is it fun?” or, “What’s in it for me?” seem to be the important questions, not, “Do I keep my promises?” or, “Is my word valuable?”

In the concept of marriage, in the bond of the parent-child relationships, in employment, in being friends, or in being caring neighbors, are human-to-human relationships based on commitment or selfishness? In matters of faith in God, is the human-divine relationship sustained by commitment or by selfishness?

Discipleship to Jesus Christ is based on service. Service is based on unselfishness. Paul wrote the Christians at Philippi, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3, 4). Service to God means less of me and more of others—just as it did in Jesus!

Think of this in another way. If God used my concept of commitment to forgive me, to redeem me, to sanctify me, to provide me grace, or to show me mercy, would I be blessed or cursed? Look at Jesus’ cross and justify your behavior. Look at Jesus’ tomb and explain a selfish attitude. An unselfish God does not lead a band of selfish disciples!

Even the incredible apostle Paul knew times of fear, yet he never forgot his commitment. Read 2 Timothy 2:1-13. Remember that Paul, while facing certain death, wrote this to encourage Timothy. Serving Jesus killed Paul, but he knew it was worth it!

You are a Christian? Wonderful! Serve God in a spirit of commitment, not a spirit of selfishness. Be a servant, not a watchdog! While the world barks, Christians serve.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 3 May 2009

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