Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Observations of our group and otheres have led me to some conclusions about commitment and its effects upon the strength of a group and that groups ability to grow and last.
The bonds of fellowship have a thread of commitment that runs through them much like steel cords reinforce and give strength to tires. Without that thread, the tires will do their work but fail much more quickly than those with. Fellowship groups that lack those threads of commitment soon fall apart and fail to grow. I have observed the formation and development of two such groups. Each have about four years duration to this point. Members of one group refuse to allow anything to interfere with their coming together, while members of the other frequently have other things to do and fail to come together as a complete group. The first group is strong, its members are growing in the Lord, and change is taking place in their lives. They are able to withstand conflict, opposition and hard times with more insight and strength and come out singing. The second group is full of personal strife, conflict, pain, distress and often speak of ‘giving it up”. The first group does not use that kind of language. The second group finds that often there are those in their fellowship who are not in attendance. To have a group requires membership and meeting. If these are lacking a group does not exist, only the shadow of a group.
Does commitment to meeting, to being available to support one another, to collaboratively study the Word of God have an impact upon a group’s ability to do the work of God? Absolutely.
Psalm 37:5 NKJV – Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring [it] to pass.
Proverbs 16:3 NKJV – Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established. If God makes a commitment to us can we do any less toward him and our fellow believers? Psalm 105:8 NLT – He always stands by his covenant–the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
Not only is this necessity for commitment scripturally based it can be heard from the secular world. Take for instance the quote from Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers:
“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
What we put first in our activities and daily lives is where our true commitment lies. For some of us it truly sits within family or job rather than the work of God. Can we make adjustments to our obligations to family and job and still keep the commitment we make to God? Again, absolutely. Sometimes it only requires our being firm with ourselves. Ha! Imagine that, self arises… It is time to put self down, it is time to commit and be responsible to our word when we say we will and then don’t. This is not in the character of a true believer. We can do… In Him we have our strength and ability. Commit thy way unto the Lord…