Making, Breaking and Keeping Commitments

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:23 NIV

I don’t want to go to practice today! I am sick of this sport.  Why did you make me play? Ever heard those words?  Ever had a line of thinking like this?  Why did I say yes to make those cookies for the bake sale? What was I thinking when I thought I could take on an additional part-time job?

Commitment, it is a serious matter.  Our word is depended upon by others.  When we do not follow through with what we committed to do; others are effected.

Sports are an obvious example, when a star player is not in his or her position, the team cannot operate at full capacity.  Games are literally won and lost based on the people keeping or not keeping their commitment to show up and play.

But what about simple matters like, ‘I will call you later.’  Our relationships can suffer when we do not follow through with little promises.  Our friends begin to feel slighted or determine we are not trustworthy.

There are also times I make a commitment and the only person who will ever know if I kept it is me.  “I will pray for you.”  So what are the consequences of not keeping a promise that ‘only’ you know was not kept?  Guilt; remorse; and a feeling of failing the other person(s).  Living in regret leads to physical stress as well as mental and emotional anguish.

So while most of us will agree commitments are important to keep, it is important to think through the consequences of making, keeping, and breaking commitments.  Let’s not make a commitment that interferes with other important people and priorities.  For example, to help out the women’s tea you would have to miss an important game your son/daughter is playing or to get recognition from the boss you have to miss dinner every night of the week. Prior to agreeing: take time to think through all of the circumstances and effects of saying “YES”.  When you are sure you can keep the commitment without negative cause and effect: go for it and keep it!

I love the saying, “I don’t care how much you know, til I know how much you care.” This is a good reminder that trust is earned.  We earn trust by keeping our commitments. Now what was it you were going to do before you sat down to read this? 🙂 Happy commitment keeping!

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