by Tony Nester

Sources of Security: Commitment
Tony R. Nester
Joshua 24:14-24

Last Sunday I talked with you about character as a source of lasting security in life. What's going on inside of us is more important that what's happening outside of us. We saw how the Bible encourages us to focus on the Torah or Way of God in order to live a life of meaning and significance, and how Jesus is God's Living Torah for Christians -- the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Today I want to identify a second source of security which the Bible holds up for our attention: making and keeping commitments. Just as our character shapes our lives, so too do our commitments and our faithfulness in keeping them.

Today's Scripture from the 24th and final chapter of the Book of Joshua includes a famous Biblical verse about choice and commitment. Joshua says to his people:

{15} Now if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Our commitments clarify who we are. When we make and keep promises we establish trust. One counselor I know says that more important than the question, "Do I love this person?" is the question, "Do I trust this person?" If we don't trust someone it means we don't really know them. If we don't trust ourselves, it means we've forgotten who we are.

In one of her novels Iris Murdoch has a woman expressing her disapproval of the bad behavior of a person named Marloe. Her companion rejects this criticism and responds, "You mustn't disapprove of people; it cuts you off."

But her friend responds, "I want to be cut off from people like Marloe. Being a real person oneself is a matter of setting up limits and drawing lines and saying no. I don't want to be a stray bit of ectoplasm straying around in other people's lives."

Please don't misund ...

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