Making wise decisions & following through
Things have certainly changed over the last few generations. Yes, the technology is more advanced, cars are more efficient, and the number and variety of electronic gadgets has sky-rocketed. Yet with all of these advances, I fear we have lost a few things like making wise decisions about what we commit to and then following through on them. Years ago, two people could make a binding agreement on their word alone then seal it with a handshake. Today we need contracts & pre-nuptials to force people to keep their word. Many are quick to say ‘I swear’ or ‘I promise’ but as merely figures of speech with no real intent to follow through. This isn’t just a non-Christian problem… it hits all of us in society regardless of gender, race, religion, or party affiliation.
Let’s look back at an old story as recorded in Mark 6 to find a couple of points to guide us in our decision making and commitments. Back in the day the King Herod was both fascinated by and angry with John the Baptist for though Herod believed John a holy man John spoke out against Herod’s marriage to his brother’s wife. During a birthday celebration for Herod, his step-daughter danced for him and pleased him so much that he swore an oath to give her anything up to half his kingdom. At the urging of her mother, she requested the head of John the Baptist. Herod was very distressed but because of his oath sent the executioners.
The first lesson to take note of is to be wise about what we swear to or commit to do. If we want to be more intent about being people of character, we need to make wise decisions about our commitments. Giving our word shouldn’t be something we take lightly nor should it be done without thoroughly thinking through what the commitment entails.
The second lesson is follow through. Perhaps this story isn’t the best example because his follow through meant someone was killed yet at the same time Herod does show us one who follows through on his word even when he didn’t want to. Too many of us today, myself included, commit or promise but then back down or turn when it isn’t what we expected or because we are inconvenienced. Even as I write this, I’m feeling convicted for a decision made a few weeks ago. I was supposed to do something but planned something else having forgotten about the first commitment. When push came to shove and I had to choose one, I selected the one I wanted to do more which happened to be the second commitment. Tough when I’m stepping on my own toes! But if the shoe fits… OK- enough with the cliche’s!
Lord, my desire is to be a Christian woman of character and part of that is making wise decisions when it comes to commitments and then following through even when I’m inconvenienced. Help me, Lord! Help me to seek your guidance and wisdom before jumping in with both feet in my mouth! (What is it with the cliche’s today?!?!) I want to be pleasing to you in every area of my life so please send your wisdom my way! Amen!