Commitment versus contribution

Commitment is a concept that is rapidly fading from the scene in our current culture. What’s needed in the Christian world today is people who are willing to make a commitment. However, most of our churches are filled with people who are only willing to make a contribution. Well you might ask, what is the difference between contribution and commitment? Glad you asked.

The answer is perfectly illustrated in the story I read recently. Basically, in the story there is a father and a son, sitting down for breakfast. They could see the brown waves of fog toss up, twisted faces from the street and tears from a passer-by with muddy skirts and aimless smile hat hovers in the air and vanishes along the level of the roofs

And the son says, “I am learning about this concept, commitment versus contribution, at school and I am trying to grasp it but I don’t understand the difference.”

The father thinks about it for a minute, and the father responds and says, “Look down on your plate. What do you see?”

The boy says, “Ham and eggs.”

The father says, “Well that chicken made a contribution to your breakfast; it laid an egg and moved on. However that pig made a commitment to your breakfast. He is fully involved with everything he has to offer.”

That’s the way it is with many so-called Christians today. They’re willing to give God an “egg” here and there (church attendance and financial contributions and so on) and they think they’ve given enough. But God is not seeking contributions; God wants total commitment.

In Romans 12:1, the apostle Paul wrote: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (KJV). From this verse it is obvious that God wants total commitment, not just token contribution. The term “living sacrifice” is an oxymoron. If something is alive it is not a sacrifice because in the Jewish sacrificial system, there could be not sacrifice given unless a life was taken.

You see this truth everywhere. Many people are not as committed to their jobs as folks were in previous generations. Absenteeism and poor quality in goods and services are often evidence of that lack of commitment. Commitment to the institution of marriage is also taken lightly. Even though the vows are repeated that say “until death do us part.”

Sadly, the decline of commitment also shows up among many professing Christians in their relationship with God and toward his church.

Therefore a “living sacrifice” is a call to present God a living dead thing. A life that is dead to self, sin and the world, but alive to God, the Spirit, and the will of God. Jesus described total commitment this way: He said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me daily.”

Lack of commitment to the church is simply a visible symptom of a lack of commitment to our God. Take a moment to think about this. How much time do you spend alone with God in prayer? How much time do you devote to reading and application of his Word? How serious are you about doing your part to fulfil his Great Commission? How important are missions? Are you teaching your children and grandchildren the importance of God in your life and in theirs? (Deut. 6)

 

“Lack of commitment to the church is simply a visible symptom of a lack of commitment to our God.” tweet

 

Aren’t you thankful that Jesus was willing to commit to you? Aren’t you glad that he “made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:7-8, NKJV).

I ask you today. Are you making contributions to the cause of Christ or have you made a commitment? Have you committed to him your time, talents, and treasures? May God help us to check our commitment. Not for our own sakes, not even for your church’s sake, but for Christ’s sake.

Let’s “bring home the bacon.”

Tebogo Aphane

Tebogo Aphane is an author, Christian poet and founder of Uth4Christ, a Christian movement targeting young people in spreading the gospel in South Africa. He studied Applied Mathematics at the University of Pretoria.