Finding Commitment in a Disposable Age


I’ve spent most of the morning thinking about a man I haven’t talked to in eight years.

Jack Lee is one of the finest men I’ve ever known. He owned a company I once worked for. While any man can run a company of a few hundred employees, scant few run theirs like Jack.

Jack knew my wife’s name. A day before my birthday, Jack asked me if I had any plans for the day. Jack remembered my anniversary. In fact, Jack knew all those important names and dates in his employees lives, and not because some reminder software belched up the info in his planner that morning. He actually kept that info in his head because he considered it essential.

When a problem came up in the corporate health plan, Jack was there for every meeting and changed things so that our package was even better than before (in an age where health plans were getting worse). During my tenure with the company, he kept improving the retirement and investment plans till they were the envy of the industry.

Jack’s office was a hundred miles away from my location, but he routinely showed up in our office to check in with people. When my Mom got ill, and it was clear that I was going to have to move back to Ohio to care for her, Jack threw a going away party. In speaking about my contributions, he teared up. I’d worked for the company less than eighteen months.

Tearing up when losing an employee was common for Jack because his employees weren’t just ten-digit numbers on a folder stashed in an HR filing cabinet. They were flesh and blood people who had lives outside of work. And Jack was committed to his people.  I know that the company pocketed less money than was possible because Jack put people before profits. For him, that commitment meant everything.

I say this with regret, but I don’t know if Jack is a believer or not. What gets me is that if he’s not, he exemplified godly commitment better than many of the most vocal Christians I’ve known in my life.

In a disposable age, when everything is classified by a system of worth straight from hell itself, we need more people like Jack Lee. And more than anything, those people should be coming from our churches.

I hate to see people bail. They bail on their promises. They bail on other people. They even bail on their families. That lack of commitment sends one enormous message: nothing has inherent value.

When there is no commitment, our words lose all meaning.

When there is no commitment, we live for the moment and plan nothing.

When there is no commitment, we run after the inconsequential.

When there is no commitment, the least of these remain the least of these.

When there is no commitment, the pillars of society fail.

When there is no commitment, any evil can be justified.

When there is no commitment, it’s every man for himself.

In an age like that, the Church must offer something better.

Jesus Christ is committed to His Church. The question is, Just how committed are we to Him and to each other?

It scares me how paltry our commitment is. Times of uncertainty are not the moments for a gut check. The gut check should come before the battle, not in the midst of it. We are heading into dark times and are completely and utterly unprepared for them because we have not made the commitments needed to weather the storms.

Do we realize how close our economy is to collapse? The Big Three automakers are nearly bankrupt, and as they go, so goes a huge chunk of our economy through a massive domino effect. What happens when a third of the people in a church are out of work? What happens when your bank fails and FDIC can’t cover the loss? What happens when you lose your home?

You see, commitment is behind all those issues. Can we say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him,” or do we gradually slip away? Do we help others in need even if it costs us everything? What do we do?

If the Church of Jesus Christ doesn’t embody commitment, if it doesn’t hurt us a little to follow Christ, and if we’re all talk with no real guts behind what we say we believe, then the world just got a lot more hopeless.

As for me, I’m not ready to walk away, no matter how much it hurts.

7 thoughts on “Finding Commitment in a Disposable Age

  1. Very, very, very, very well said. I especially resonate with “When there is no commitment, our words lose all meaning.” Matthew 12:36 comes to mind. So many people, myself included, don’t think about things like this.

    I’ll continue noodling on your thoughts in this post.

  2. hans

    You say with regret that you don’t know if he is a believer or not. Well believe it or not that’s quite irrelevant, what counts is the Godly living. What we think or believe comes from the head where as God judges the heart , Jack Lee is faithfully and obediently demonstrating and dispensing the love that our Father has poured into him, he is the faithful servant and will receive a great reward, count on it!

    Remember the story of the good Samaritan

    Remember also what Jesus said about the many coming in his name and casting out demons in his name etc, who will not get in

    Love, Obedience, and the Anointing

    • Christopher Lake

      Hans, you write that the matter of whether or not Jack Lee is a Christian is “quite irrelevant; what counts is the Godly living.” This is works-based righteousness, which will not save anyone from God’s holy and just wrath against sin. We must have a personal faith (trust) in Jesus Christ, who lived the perfectly Godly life that we never could (as we are sinners) and who died in our place, so that we who trust in Him are now reconciled to God. Now, out of this trust in Jesus, we do desire to live a Godly life that will glorify Him before a lost world. If a person does not even trust and follow the true God though, that person does not lead a “Godly” life. It may be a “decent and moral” life, by certain societal standards (which are often taken from Christian morality), but it is not a Godly life, because it is not a life lived out of love for, and submission to, the true and living God.

  3. George

    Hans makes a good point. I don’t know that I know it’s right, but I don’t know that it’s wrong, either. But that’s for another post, I guess.

    What Dan says: I’m not ready to walk away, no matter how much it hurts. I’m not ready to walk away, either, but in a different sense.

    My wife gave me a “bible study” on Acts that she didn’t intend to use. I say bible study in quotes, because that’s what the publisher called it. Anyway, one question it poses is “What keeps people [today] from experiencing the Spirit’s power [as at Pentecost]? And it occurs to me: What keeps me from that experience is — me. That last thing I want is to be blessed with the ability to speak Russian or Swahili or Urdu. Because then I would be expected to go somewhere I could use the language to proclaim Christ. And I don’t want to walk away from what I have right here. [Now I realize Dan was not talking about walking away in this sense, but it did remind me of my recent conviction.] Of course the early church didn’t want to walk away, either — it took an external persecution to create the dispersion. And I don’t want that sort of persecution, either. I much prefer to stay right here in the comfort of my own home (house, church, community). I don’t want to walk away, because staying here is a lot more comfortable.

    And I doubt that I’m the only one who feels that way.

    • hans

      I hear you George, but let me testify to this that most if not all my experiences with the Holy Spirits power involved my being outside my comfort zone, but boy is it ever worth it, and after a few experiences, comfortable starts to feel kinda yucky and dirty after a bit and the hunger for another starts to grow

      It’s been my experience ( and others I know ) that for Spiritual growth the comfort zones must and will be challenged, but more than anything it’s the comfort zones of the mind, and when entered into willingly the harvest is peace rather that discomfort

      Back to my comment above and your reply,I too would like to see a post and have discussion on it

  4. Ken

    What happens when a third of the people in a church are out of work? What happens when your bank fails and FDIC can’t cover the loss? What happens when you lose your home?

    A lot of Christians figure it’ll never happen because Christ will return and beam them up before anything bad could possibly happen to THEM. (You know the type; all 22 volumes of Left Behind and everything Hal Lindsay ever wrote covered with margin notes. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what Larry Norman had in mind when he wrote “Only Visiting This Planet”.)

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