The believing and the doing, that lead to commitment and that are in turn fed by it, are dependent upon one another, as are learning and knowing.
These themes are present in several of the texts available at savoiretcroire.ca. However such connections remain to be made explicit. This reflexive and synthesis work will be the object of the present section in the coming months. For now, near and dear to my heart, a few opening remarks:
This entire Web site invites to think through the question expressed by this page’s title: Commitment? To what Extent? and to find for oneself an answer from our heavenly Father! Through the years, I came to realize that there exist a tendency amongst us Christians to not assume the responsibility for our choices. We sometimes entertain the idea that a denomination, a local church, a Christian group, or yet a pastor or teacher is ultimately responsible for whatever spiritual disarray we may currently be going through.
This intellectual, emotional, and perceptual trap amounts to the making of other people responsible for the roadblocks we our facing and for our own personal and spiritual defeats. Such an attitude stifles or prevent our growth in the Christian faith.
Direct exposure to the Bible text by reading it for oneself on a regular basis is a condition without which it is quite difficult to avoid this tendency or to free oneself from its grip. A sound understanding of the Holy Scriptures frees us and guides us. It frees us from the constraints that too often are associated to Christianity, but which are disavowed by the Bible text itself. It guides us towards a life becoming more and more conform to the intention of God for us humans as revealed in His Word.
A first step toward answering the question Commitment? To what extent? would be in the following direction: When we understand that God invites us to walk a path and not another, then committing oneself without reserve is proper and good. However, when someone else presents us with their conviction of a course of action they believe we should take or commit to, it is better not to go along unless we share the same conviction. In a word, we must take whatever action we do take based on our own convictions, not on what people around us think we should do or not do. That remains true even in the case of someone claiming to have received from God their conviction on our behalf.
I made many a mistake in my Christian walk, but I was never under the impression that others had led me to adopt a form of Christianity of which I was not personally convinced. That defines, in my view, the extent to which we should be committing ourselves, and never beyond. In fact, I consider it dangerous for a person’s faith to accept being led beyond what one personally believes to be true according to the teaching of Scriptures. In brief, our doing should be anchored on our own convictions and not on those of people around us about what we should or should not do. This approach necessarily implies dwelling in the biblical text, as www.savoiretcroire.ca encourages to do.
As one reads the New Testament through in its entirety, it should become pretty obvious that Christianity there is not meant to be lived in an isolated way – each believer staying in his own living room, watching TV, or browsing over the Internet. One verse that has been very important in my sticking with the local Church, even through the most difficult years of my Christian life, as I was facing deep discouragement, was Hebrews 10:24-25:
“[…] Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another […]” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV, 2011).
This Bible passage should be studied within its own context for a fuller understanding of what it all entails. But one thing I drew out of it, and that I still consider as an essential part of the Christian life, is finding a body of believers, with whom it is possible to share about God, and to encourage one another in walking with Him and for Him. That is where the local Church comes in as a requirement for Christian growth and service.
You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish).
Daniel Garneau, B Th, B Com, MA.
Article edited: May 11, 2016; January 5, 2018; July 13, 2018.