Today’s lesson is about being too busy or being overcommitted. We are all busy people. We run run run. from work to school to kids activities to church to our activities to housework to everything under the sun. Then as we do all these normal things, we make dates with people, volunteer for extra work, and just keep going and going like the energizer bunny. Through all of this, stress builds up. We worry about what we need to do next. We fixate on a commitment and start to wonder if we should have volunteered to take on that job or duty. The more we think about it, the more stressed we get. The more we concentrate on it at the expense of others responsibilities. We may even think of how we can get out of it. Do I call in sick to work? Do I call in sick to the obligation? Can someone else do it? Can I put it off a day or two or forever?
For me, the hard part in this is that we want to do these things. We want to move forward, to help others, to serve. Then when we can’t, we feel defeated. This doesn’t make us bad people, just overcommitted. I am frequently in that boat.
Before I got married and even early in my marriage, I would always volunteer for something. I wanted, and still, want, to be known as the guy who helps anyone, and can knock things out. It has taken, and I’m still working on it, many years to realize I can’t just say yes. I have to pray on it. Talk to those who will be impacted by my decision, then see if I can live up to the duties and expectations.
Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: “This is what the Lord commands: When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said. Numbers 30:1-2
But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. – Matthew 5:35-37
The Lord wants us to be honest. If we say we are going to do something we must do it. If we can’t, we shouldn’t say yes. If something changes in our life, and that does happen, we need to be honest with the person whom we made the pledge and talk about it. We don’t need to pinky promise something, or super duper special promise. We don’t swear on the life of whomever. We say yes or no. Our word is our word. We need to see the example that Jesus has set for us. As an old friend of mine said “Taking the job is voluntary. Doing it is not”. I have broken my word many times. I have done things halfway or not at all. I have put things off until the last minute. Not by choice but by being so busy, so overcommitted, I was stuck. I didn’t want to do anything. This is not how we should live. Think, pray, work.
Are you ready to look at your commitments and fulfill them? Are you ready to have the hard conversations about what you can and cannot do? Are you willing not break your word?
I am willing (with the help of God).
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