How To Keep Your Commitments

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.

keep your commitments

Casual 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!

Scandalous Behavior?

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.

Slippery Slope

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.

  1. Count the cost (see Luke 14:2-30). Before committing to anything, make certain you can live with the worst-case scenario.
  2. 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.
  3. Follow through (see Joshua 9:16-10:14, especially 9:19) . Do what you said you would do – regardless of the cost!

Joshua’s Commitment

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?

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  • You hit the nail on the head with the concept of casual commitments. I know I’ve been guilty of not keeping these more than a few times. I think the reason was that I simply forgot I made the commitment. Getting a little more organized and reminding myself to actually do what I said I would do is very important for me.

    • We are all guilty of this. I think part of the solution is simply becoming more aware of the situations in which we typically do this. If we become more aware, then we will be less likely to casually commit to something without first thinking it through (counting the costs).

      As is often the case, I am preaching to myself here as well!

  • This message coincides with my devotional this morning from Henry Blackaby in response to Matt 25:23, “Well done, good and faithful (bond)servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!” When we say we will pray about something in another’s life, do so! And, continue to do so until you feel the Lord’s response releases you of that commitment. If we say we will do something for a co-worker or customer, do it. We will win hearts and minds so that when the opportunity to talk about bigger issues, then we will likely have earned the right and respect needed to be heard. (The story of Joshua says our integrity means a lot to God too!) Good post Chris… I learned long ago when a particular message is repeated to you, listen, learn and live it out, because it must be important!

    • Great point, Coach. I have experienced that repeated lesson too many times…still, I keep hearing, “Are you still so dull?” echoing in my ears!