New Year's Day has come and gone. People are talking about their resolutions: go on a diet, walk two miles a day, get organized, clean out the hall closet, spend more time with the family, give more attention to devotions and prayer.
Talk, as the old adage says, is cheap. It's now two weeks into the new year, and most of those resolutions have already gone into the recycling bin. The spirit may be willing, but the flesh just can't seem to keep up. We mean well, we really do. We fully intend to keep those promises, this time. But before long "this time" becomes like all the other times. We slip back into our old comfortable patterns.
Why is it so difficult for us to keep the commitments we make? Perhaps because the changes we seek are external rather than internal. We can make vows to God and to others until Jesus comes, but unless true commitment is rooted deep in our hearts, we are bound to fail, to disappoint our loved ones and ourselves.
We live in a society where lack of commitment is the norm. If the road to marital bliss gets a little rocky, bail out and start over with someone new. If a job's tougher than you planned, turn it over to someone else-or just abdicate it altogether. If you're always late for appointments-hey, no big deal. They'll wait.
No wonder we have trouble keeping our word. No wonder our zeal flags and our determination fades. Commitment, in the modern world, simply isn't a very high priority.
To God, however, commitment is the very bedrock of faith. And it begins, not with our external efforts to change our outward patterns, but with a profound inward conviction that draws us into a commitment to Someone greater than ourselves.
"How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me?" the Psalmist ask. "I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people." (Ps. 116:12-14)
When we commit our lives to God, something happens deep within us. Our priorities begin to changes. We begin to see the spiritual truth keeping our word is not just a matter of making a good impression, but a matter of being true to the One who created us and redeemed us, the One in whose image we have been reborn.
Commitment is not an outward effect, but an inner transformation.
It's not a New Year's resolution; it's the gift of grace.
*Taken from the book "Simple Words of Wisdom 52 Virtues For Every Woman" by: Penelope J. Stokes