Some of us are blessed to have people in our lives that create our foundation. They are stable. They are dependable. They not only DO what they SAY, they do the right thing.
These people are invaluable.
However, people like this are becoming more and more rare. Matthew 5:37 challenges us to “…let our yes be yes,” and yet many people, Believers included, find this a huge challenge. We just can’t seem to make our yes manifest into action. Most of us are not intentionally lying, but it is easier to fall back on circumstance or let feelings dictate our actions than do what we promised with our words. A frequent example in the Church is a commitment to volunteer and yet a failure to follow through. Our daily lives are full, and our intentions are good, but we get distracted—the kids have a game, your spouse is sick, you had to work late, you forgot, your sister/brother/father/mother needed you… The list goes on. Life happens. This is true for all of us. But that volunteer position then either goes unfilled or is filled by one of the few volunteers who is overused in the Church system. According to a recent Barna Group study 57% of your church has NOT volunteered in the last 12 months and 28% have never volunteered.
This problem extends far beyond the walls of the church.
Many people treat their jobs like a church volunteer position. Forty to fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. The last report in 2005 from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System reported that 899,000 children in the US were victims of neglect and/or abuse. All of these are examples of not doing what we said we would do in our jobs and in our homes. What can YOU do? The first step is repentance and confession—repenting to the Lord and to those we have hurt by acknowledging the areas where we struggle to keep our word. The second step is looking at our commitments and deciding what needs to go and what needs to stay. It is okay to say no sometimes. The problem is when we say yes and then fail to follow through. We need to say yes to the things of the Lord—the things that matter. And lastly we need to learn to under-commit and over-deliver in life. The old expression “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” is harsh but sadly true. Good intentions only go so far—it is the actions and effort behind them that make a difference. We have been called to be men and women of integrity, who do what we say we will do, operate in honesty, embrace a high standard of ethics, and can be depended upon by our families and our church. It is time to live the message God has imparted by making the choice to say yes to our commitments every day!