Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21 (NIV)
Sometimes doubt arises in the mind, but there is another variety of doubt that has its root in the will. For some the greatest battle is not in the area of conviction, but in the area of commitment.
Imagine a young professional named Tom. As you listen to his story, see if you can detect a pattern in his life.
Tom was raised in the suburbs. His parents divorced when he was ten years old, then he had relatively little contact with his father. Tom did well at school and liked to play the trumpet, but he gave it up when he was fourteen because he really didn’t enjoy practicing.
When Tom was in college, he dated several young women. Usually, he dated for about six months, but when the woman began to get serious, he backed away. Tom’s love for reading began in college, and he has assembled quite a library of books. Tom has started many of them, but he rarely finishes.
Tom’s lack of follow-through has created a number of problems. In his annual review, Tom’s boss noted that he does not always do well returning calls, and he often loses track of action items that were assigned to him.
He professes faith in Jesus Christ, but says he is having difficulty with his faith. He has more questions than answers. He joined a small group last year, but it didn’t work out.
Can you see the problem? Tom is 35 years old and throughout his life he has developed the pattern of never really being committed to anything, which was modeled in his childhood, cultivated in his youth, and now invades every area of his life—including his faith.
Do you struggle with commitment? Can you think of ways this might affect your faith?