HEARTLIGHTSingle... Not Alone







by Cary Branscum

    Some people hate the very idea of them. Some people love them. What are they?

    Our commitments. Commitments are areas in our lives where we have voluntarily taken on responsibilities or obligations.

    You see the new car in the showroom... you slide in and smell the new leather smell... you adjust the rearview mirror... and you SEE YOURSELF IN THIS CAR!

    “Yes sir! You bet! I can try it! I can buy it! It will help my self-image, fix up my love life, and clean my dental work. And it’s only $400 per month! Why that’s nothin’, cause I LOVE this car.”

    Two years later, there are burger wrappers on the floor, there are a couple of dents on the back door, and it is covered in road film. You suddenly realize $400 a month is pretty steep for a trashed up, dented in car! But what can you do? You not only have this car, you have a commitment.

    Sometimes singles will talk about a love relationship where it’s hard to commit. The TRUTH is, everyone is committed to something, even if it’s just freedom from commitments.

    So why don’t we all just get really greedy, and commit only to ourselves?

    The Wiseman of Ecclesiastes did that. He stayed committed to himself and to finding wisdom. Other than that, he had no restrictions. He took on all his world had to offer. If you listen to him, it sounds very similar to what we seek today — entertainment, power, ease, comfort, strong drink, sex, and material possessions. And you know what? He called it all vanity, “chasing after the wind.” At the end, the Wiseman of Ecclesiastes finally said, “Respect God and Keep His Commandments, this is the Purpose of Life.”

    He had discovered the truth after much searching: without commitment to God and to others, life is pretty empty and vain. It really IS chasing after wind.

    So I would urge you to think about these things:

  • Commit to spending some time in Bible study and prayer. Nothing will help you more than this in your walk with God.

  • Commit to finding a church family to be a part of. Don’t just drift through the American landscape without a church home. Find a congregation that offers Christ and His Word, and BE A PART.

  • Commit to helping one person in some way each day. This isn’t too tall an order; you can do it.

    YOU CAN CHOOSE your commitments. You don’t have to commit to everything. With God’s help, make objective decisions about what and who you will commit to. Don’t be bullied. And when you make your commitments, stick to them.

    But what if you have a tough commitment that is hard to keep? Let’s revisit our car example again.

    Maybe you can refinance, or sell the car and buy a cheaper one, or increase the amount you pay each month and pay it off early. The point is, you can do something!

    But here’s another option: how about cleaning up that car, fixing it up the little problems, and being proud of it. Look at your current commitments, the ones you can’t or shouldn’t get out of right now, then clean them up and fix them up. Who knows, you might just fall in love with that car again.


HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-98, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
Article copyright © 1998, Cary Branscum. Used by permission.
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