Are We Committed to Christ and His Church?
We live in an age where no one wants to be too tied down to anything. We want to keep our options open. We see this with technology. I don't want to sign a 2 year commitment to a company, what if some new phone comes out next year and I want it? We see it in relationships. People don’t want to get married too quick, they want to try it out first and see if it works before saying “I do.” No one wants to commit to anything.
There seems to be a common theme with this apprehension to commitment. Satisfaction. We don’t want to be committed because we’re afraid this commitment may become a prison cell. What if this thing I’m committing to becomes something I don’t want? What if this thing I’m committing to does not satisfy me anymore? What if it gets in the way of getting something else that may satisfy me? These questions pop into our heads everyday. We think about these questions with cell phones, cars, relationships, and even the church.
The problem is that Christ is all about commitment. He says as much in Luke 9:23, “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Christ is speaking about wholly committing oneself to Him in order to be a true disciple, in order to be a true Christian. The Christian life is a life of commitment. It’s about being 100% sold out for Jesus and living your life to please Him, not yourself.
One of the ways Christians live a committed life to Christ is by being committed to their local church. Commitment in the local church works just like commitment at your job, home, and in your relationships. What would your employer say about your commitment if you were regularly missing work? What would your spouse say about your commitment if you didn’t show your love by doing things for him or her? What would your friends say about your commitment if you avoided them?
Jesus gave us the church in order for us to grow as Christians. We are to love one another, serve one another, and grow with one another. This requires commitment. Church at its core is you as a Christian saying I am committed to serving Jesus and my fellow believers and then actually DOING it. And that apprehension of unsure satisfaction will fade, because when you're following Christ and being alongside others who are following Christ there is no greater satisfaction.
C.S. Lewis, in his classic work Mere Christianity, writes about Jesus’ idea of commitment as, “Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work. I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self but to kill it. No half- measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desire you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked – the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you myself; my own will shall become yours.”
(Mere Christianity, p. 167)