1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Several years ago, I was driving down 10th street here in Long Beach, California. As I drove, I noticed a very unusual billboard advertisement. It was an advertisement for animal adoption. There was a picture of a lady kneeling down with her arm around a dog. The caption simply said, “Here’s one male who is not afraid of commitment.” It was a cleverly stated indictment against something that not only men fear—commitment.
Paul often used athletic illustrations. These types of illustrations are very applicable to the Christian life because any high-level athlete must be completely committed to his sport. Success will only come in his sport in proportion to his level of commitment. That is why many talented athletes over the years have not succeeded, because they are more interested in the limelight than they are to the commitment it takes to achieve success.
Commitment is something that people fear. Why do so many couples live together as opposed to getting married? Because they fear that the relationship won’t last. They want an easy escape hatch in case they need to bail out. If they only realized that one of the vital ingredients to a lasting relationship is commitment, they would grasp the truth that trying to build a successful relationship without the key ingredient is futile. The thing they fear is the very thing they need.
Let’s look at it spiritually. Why are so many Christians content to trust Christ with their soul but they will not trust Him in their everyday life? They want to trust Him enough for salvation, but they’re not committed to Him in day to day life. They will say with their lips that they love Jesus Christ, but they will not commit their life to Him. They fear the changes that will take place as a result of their commitment.
One of the reasons we do not commit is because we are afraid that it will make demands on our life. Let me just say this: commitment does make demands on your life. When I got married to my wife I committed to her, and that commitment came with a list of demands in the form of the responsibilities that intrinsically come with marriage. Having children is also a commitment, one which comes with requirements. There will be changes in your life, in your schedule, and in your values, which is always the product of any commitment.
The problem is that we want the product of commitment without the process of being committed. Without it we’re trying to take a shortcut, and that just will not work. We need to set aside our fear of commitment and understand that what we want can only be achieved by commitment. Commitment in the Christian life is necessary in order to be successful. The Christian life was never designed to be lived successfully without 100% commitment. Let us not fear commitment, for it is needed. The thing you fear is the thing you need.
There are certain things in life that if we truly love them, there will be a counterbalance of hate for what opposes them.
If God gave us the opportunity to have WHATEVER we wanted, what would it be?