In Patrick Morley’s book, Devotions for the Man in the Mirror, he touches on a point that I have often thought about relating to commitment. He writes: “Over the past few decades, many of us started off on the wrong foot with Jesus Christ. It is the proposition that Jesus can be ‘Savior” without being ‘Lord’. It is the idea that one can ‘add’ Christ, but not ‘subtract’ sin. Many of us have merely added Christ to our lives as another interest in an already busy and otherwise over-crowded schedule…” (pp. 13-14)
When my son was learning to walk, we would walk behind him with our arms stretched out like guard rails with hands at the ready to catch him if he stumbled. We would wobble behind him as he wobbled across the floor for the first times. Eventually, we did not need to follow behind him any longer in this fashion. Why? Because he learned to walk on his own. It would be an odd sight for me to walk behind him in that fashion now. In fact, if I did he would probably say “Cut that out!”
When people first become Christians, they need mature Christians to walk beside them as I walked alongside my son ready to steady him if he stumbled. Just as babies learn to walk on their own as their bodies physically develop, so should new Christians be able to walk spiritually on their own. They ought to be able walk with Christ on their spiritual journey to live in the heavenly home with Him. They should not require the same level of “hand holding” from other Christians. Now, I am not speaking about needing encouragement. We all could use encouragement from fellow Christians—one of the reasons we assemble together. But there comes a time when we ought to be able to stand and walk on our own. We ought to become the mature Christians walking with new converts as they start their spiritual journey. If not, then something is wrong and out of place just as if I was still following my 11 year old son around as if he was 11 months old.
If a person is not maturing the way they should, then what might be the problem? Maybe they thought, as Morley suggests, that they accept Jesus as their Savior but were not looking for a Lord. Perhaps they need to be reminded that Christianity is not just something one adds to their digital calendar when they can fit it in. Christianity is a transformation of one’s entire life (Romans 12:1-2). If our calendars are just too busy for worship and service in the church, then we need to clean our calendars! Perhaps we need to be reminded that Jesus will not accept a life partially dedicated to Him! “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33, NKJV.) “And another also said, ‘Lord, I will follow you, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.’ But Jesus said to him “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’” (Luke 9:61-62, NKJV.) We need to remember that people are judging our commitment to Christ…they are watching us. Also, Jesus is judging our words, actions and our heart—“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me” (Matthew 15:8, NKJV.) If you are able to do more for the Lord and His church, then do it! If you have to be asked to attend services, participate in the worship, teach class, or get involved, then perhaps you are not maturing. Could this stem from a commitment problem? Jesus is both the Lord and Savior of mankind! Be fully committed and dedicated!