I just read this passage earlier today, and a few thoughts entered my mind:
“The ability to stand by one’s principles, to live with integrity and faith according to one’s belief—that is what matters, that is the difference between a contribution and a commitment. That devotion to true principle—in our individual lives, in our homes and families, and in all places that we meet and influence other people—that devotion is what God is ultimately requesting of us. …
A successful life, the good life, the righteous Christian life requires something more than a contribution, though every contribution is valuable. Ultimately it requires commitment—whole-souled, deeply held, eternally cherished commitment to the principles we know to be true in the commandments God has given. …
If we will be true and faithful to our principles, committed to a life of honesty and integrity, then no king or contest or fiery furnace will be able to compromise us…..[May] we stand as witnesses for him “at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death.”
– H. W. Hunter, Our Commitment to God
Commitment is a decision made with the heart with mind, enlivened by our words and our actions. It is a persistent, consistent, resilient devotion to True Principle…in public and in private, among people, by ourselves, and most importantly, before God.
It is interesting to note how Commitment needs our whole Soul, our whole Heart (“deeply held, eternally cherished”) as we interact with all people and all things at all times, and in all places, for our whole life. It is a complete immersion to a particular cause. It is, however, not an expectation Perfection as “Flawlessness”. It is, rather, the idea of Perfection as “Completeness”.
To me, this is one reason why the Christian method of baptism is by immersion. Baptism by immersion is our sign to others, and especially to God, that we will commit ourselves completely to this cause we call “The Gospel of Jesus Christ.” We go into the waters completely, from head to toe with our whole heart and mind and spirit….conscious of our willful decision to follow Jesus Christ and to strive to come to Him as we invite others to do so. This is something we promise to do…with our whole heart, our might, our mind, our strength…at ALL TIMES, in ALL THINGS, in ALL PLACES, to ALL PEOPLE. It is a COMPLETE IMMERSION…a PERFECT COMMITMENT…symbolically at Baptism, and literally with our Life.
Our commitment to God requires we do more than just the token “christian-like” actions of praying, going to church, reading scriptures, and being with fellow Christians. Such actions, when we take them casually, are done “without heart”. We do it because others do it. That’s Casual “Commitment”….not True Commitment.
However, commitment, also, doesn’t mean “busy-ness”, where you’re trying to visit everyone who’s sick, make casseroles for everyone who just had a baby, be at every service project,…and have the appearance to be the “flawless” Christian for everyone, to everyone, every time. That’s not commitment to God…it is a twisted commitment to a false personal expectation.
Commitment to God and Jesus Christ means that we strive to make them our partners in the things we do. We seek them. We draw near to them. We strive to develop a relationship with them. We speak to God in prayer and receive the counsel He plants in our heart and our mind. We strive, with determination and patience to live His will. We strive to be led by Christ as we trust Him with Faith, change our ways to match His ways, and try to share with others the good that we’ve discovered through Him. Furthermore, we stick with them when things get rough. We enjoy the moments of good with them. We don’t let things get between us; we work things out when things do. We’re here to stay. We’re in it for the long haul. We’ll endure. We’ll go together. We work it out. We’re in this relationship…with our whole heart, might, mind, and strength. We don’t let go.
Commitment to our spouse means the same thing.
Commitment to our family means the same thing.
Commitment to the things we know are true means the same thing.
Our fickle world, with its uncommitted societies, want nothing to do with being anchored with Commitment. They’ll call it “being tied down”, “old-fashioned”, “enslaved”, “traditionalist”…and other such names….in as loud a voice as they can muster.
Give them no heed.
May we be Anchored…Immersed…Completely…Willfully…Wholly…Indeed, let us be Committed…to God, to our husbands, our wives, our children, to the gospel of Jesus Christ, to the Truth…with our whole heart, might, mind, and strength.
…for “Perfect” Commitment is really being Committed…”Completely”.