Challenging Challenges: Genuine Commitment

We attended a wedding once where we were invited friends of the parents of the groom. After the ceremony I asked the grooms father, “Do you think they’ll make it?” to which he replied, “Well, you know, these days the words don’t mean very much.”

     To say I was a bit taken back would be an understatement. His response came just moments after the ceremony. He did not think their marriage would last; turns out he was right. Within 2 years the couple had separated.

     In these early days of the twenty first century our adherence to the commitments we make are surely glancing at marginal. Businesses are ruled by the bottom line. Treaties are honoured, sort of. Government commitments are, well, tenuous. Everyone seems to be asking the same question— What’s in it for me?

     That doesn’t sit too well with me. My wife and I are coming up on our 50th Anniversary of marriage. Neither of us have ever asked that question. It’s always been What can I do for you? How can I help you fulfill your dreams? How can I encourage you in your walk of faith?

     There is a poem in the book of Psalms that starts with the dual questions— 

O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?

Who shall dwell on your Holy Hill?

[Psalm 15]

The poem goes on to answer it with a slew of brilliant admonitions. There is one answer I would like to draw attention to (verse 4)—

…who swears to his own hurt and does not change.

     Basically, you stick with the commitments you’ve made through good times and bad. Too many in our society simply drop their commitments when the going gets tough. Such wimpy fortitude will destroy marriages, break partnerships, and lead to wars. People will get hurt. People will be killed. Children will be shattered and scattered. That is the way of people who do not keep their commitments.

     What’s in it for me? is the major barrier to genuine commitments. Shouldn’t we rather be asking What can I do for you?


Honor God, honor people, make a difference,


Dr. Gary Davis, President



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