This post is based on material from Dave Anderson’s book, How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK. It is the second post in a series of five in which we will address common character issues for leaders. The character issue we are addressing is how to keep your commitments.
How often do you tell someone else that you will call them later? Do you? What about those you told you would pray for them and their family? Did you keep your commitments and actually set aside time to pray for them?
Many leaders take lightly the “casual” commitments such as promises to call or offers to pray. They make these commitments without actually planning to keep them. Their intent is not malicious or deceitful. Maybe they actually want to make good on the commitment at some point, but they really do not take it seriously. In fact, within minutes of making the commitment, they have often forgotten it completely!
While this behavior is certainly not what any of us wants to confess to, it is not the stuff that scandals are made of, is it? I mean, how often do you hear this type of broken commitment broadcast on the evening news? How many times are you confronted for failing to keep your commitment when it was only said in passing? Everyone knows these are not promises sealed in blood, right?
So what is the big deal? Well, let’s go back to the Bible again. In fact, we will look at the same verse that we did in my last post on little white lies. Here is what it says in Luke 16:10…
Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.
So there it is…the Biblical description of the infamous “slippery slope” with which we are all familiar! If we make casual choices to tell little white lies, then we will soon find ourselves telling bigger and bigger lies. If we choose to make quick commitments that we do not take seriously enough to fulfill, then we will eventually find ourselves failing to honor bigger commitments.
Folks, it always starts with the small stuff. Satan rarely comes at us with the huge temptation right off the bat. He slowly draws us toward them with the small temptations. Eventually, we will have slipped so far down the slope, there is no return.
Keep Your Commitments
As a leader in Christian businesses, you must keep your commitments. The problem with this truth is that it really only tells one part of what you need to do. You see, once they are made, the only option for you as a Christian leader is to keep your commitments.
The real question is how to avoid making those commitments that are painful to keep. Well, once again we can turn to the Bible for advice. Below are some tips from Dave Anderson’s How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK. Check out the Scripture associated with each one.
- Count the cost (see Luke 14:2-30). Before committing to anything, make certain you can live with the worst-case scenario.
- Seek God’s wisdom before deciding (see Joshua 9:3-15, especially v.14). Check with trusted counselors who have nothing to gain or lose, either way, from your decision.
- Follow through (see Joshua 9:16-10:14, especially 9:19) . Do what you said you would do – regardless of the cost!
This story of Joshua’s poor decision to make peace with the Gibeonites is the perfect illustration of the whole idea I am trying to convey. He failed to seek God in his decision. He failed to count the cost. As a result, he was deceived into a tough commitment.
But when Joshua realized what had happened, he stuck to his word. Not only did he not attack the Gibeonites when he found out about the deception, but he also went to their aid when they called upon him and the Israelites. This is true leadership!
Did you read the last part about God making the day stand still? If you will keep your commitments like Joshua did, I believe God will honor your behavior just like He did for Joshua.
What commitments are you guilty of taking casually?
What can you do to change that behavior?
Have you seen God act on your behalf when you have kept a tough commitment?