A while ago I came across the quote “there’s no growth without commitment.” I’m not sure who the original author is, but the quote really stuck with me, so much so, I wrote it on a post-it note and stuck in my Bible.
It stuck with me because it challenged me to consider whether I am in fact experiencing growth across the different aspects of my life. If growth is predicated upon commitment, do I demonstrate the necessary commitment for the growth I want to see in my life?
It is sometimes hard to measure growth—perhaps it is revealed when we look backwards—but commitment might be easier to perceive.
Our time commitments
We need only to look at our calendars or diaries to see where we have committed ourselves. We only need to cast our mind over our daily routines to see where we put our time and energy.
If we spend several hours a week working out, with gym classes or training sessions locked into our schedules, we probably have a commitment to exercise and, if we are training properly, we will likely see growth in our strength and fitness.
We invest our time and energy into certain areas in our lives and when we properly undertake the tasks involved, we will achieve progress.
Habits lead to growth
Commitment establishes habits. When we commit to something over and over, perhaps sacrificing other things, that task becomes a habit. Ideally, we’ll get better at what we regularly work on.
Do we have the habits we need to see the growth we desire for ourselves? Where do we spend our time and energy? Do our commitments and our responsibilities reflect the areas of our lives that we value and want to invest in?
However, commitment isn’t solely a matter of time. Perhaps you want to grow in a character attribute. This doesn’t really require a scheduled appointment in your calendar in order to improve, rather, it is a moment-by-moment intentional shift in your mindset or posture towards other people or tasks. We can grow in these areas too.
Commitment is about making a choice and following through. More than how we choose to spend our time, we also make choices regarding our attitudes and mindsets. Here, commitment is about consistently making a choice on what we think or what we believe about something.
At one point, we make an initial choice, perhaps we are choosing to work on an attitude of gratitude, or perhaps we want to be better giving compliments, rather than complaints. Commitment follows this as we consistently choose to regularly turn our minds to gratitude. We have made a commitment to these attitudes and postures.
I think we find that most people cannot simply decide one day that they will be more grateful. We need commitment in order to change habits. If we actually want something to change in our lives, if we want to grow, our daily practices have significant influence in our growth. When we make a commitment to an area we want to grow in, it has to be something we regularly work on.
Biblical insight on commitment
So, is commitment important in our faith? What does the Bible say about commitment?
In 1 Kings chapter 8, verse 61 says “And may your hearts be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.”
Psalm chapter 37, verse 5 encourages us to “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”
These verses demonstrate that God calls us to commit ourselves, our hearts, to Him and when we do, he will act. Commitment is important, it has a value.
Further, I have really come to love the verse in Philippians where Paul writes he learned to be content despite the circumstances (Philippians chapter 4, verse 11). It’s fair to say learning requires commitment. Learning to be content in every situation, regardless of circumstances, requires committing to that attitude and posture over and over again.
If we want to be a people who grow, we have to commit to it. It’s not always going to be easy, it may be hard. But it will help us grow.
Romans chapter 5, verses 3 to 5 encourage us that “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame.”
This isn’t to say commitment will always involve suffering, but when we have committed our hearts to God, we can persevere in the midst of suffering and we grow our character and find hope as a result.
There’s no growth without commitment.
Rebecca Hoverd studies law and geography at The University of Auckland and loves writing as a way to communicate with God and to unpack her thoughts. She loves coffee, conversations, and would love to hear your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.