Suppose at the foot of the cross of Jesus some of the disciples placed a crudely painted sign with this stark, terse inscription – “TOTAL COMMITMENT” That is exactly what it was, wasn’t it?
One of the most delightful stories I have ever heard is that cute little one which features two animal friends who were walking down Main Street one day and passed a cafe. The chicken looked up and read the sign in the window …. “Ham and Eggs – 99 cents.” Her friend, the pig, took a sudden gasping spell and a terrifying case of the shakes, then he began running as fast as his chubby little legs would take him. The chicken finally caught up with him in the darkened corner of the barn. He was quivering in fear. “What’s the matter?” the chicken asked of her friend. “What’s the matter, that sign’s the matter! Of course it doesn’t bother you, ‘cause with you it’s just a matter of a token contribution, but with me it’s total commitment!” That four -legged package of ham, bacon, pork chops, and chitterlings had, indeed, sized it up pretty well, hadn’t he?
Many a worthwhile endeavor and relationship has ended up on the scrap pile because the participants were willing to make only a token effort. Tokenism is the bane of our society. It is the rule, rather than the exception, in our nation, in our cities, our neighborhoods, and IN THE CHURCH. It seems to suggest that “total commitment” was an ideal, a way of life which went the way of scrub boards. There is no room for TOTAL COMMITMENT in ME-ISM!
Paul, the Apostle, said …”And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23). For life to be lived well, according to Paul, it requires the giving of our best – a hearty commitment! Think of this in terms of “housekeeping” congregations, failing marriages, crumbling homes, unfulfilled Christianity, and many other relationships.
What if we scrapped the principle of “tokenism” and, in its place, we reinstated the principle of “total commitment” as a way of doing things? Would not many failing marriages be saved? By reinstating “total commitment,” couldn’t we take mediocrity out of the marketplace? With an attitude of “total commitment” at work, jobs would be more fulfilling, would’t they? Also, with the principle of “total commitment” at work in the home we could make of our children better adults for tomorrow’s world, couldn’t we? As Christians, if we were totally committed our spiritual lives would be far more enjoyable and fruitful, and more easily lived within the context of the Lord’s will, wouldn’t they? The Church, too, would do a far better job of reaching the lost and building up and strengthening the saints if “total commitment” was at work, wouldn’t it?
Charlie T. Garner
A PEARL OR PLASTIC BEAD
“Again the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
Seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found
one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he
had and bought it. (Matthew 13:45-46 NKJV)
A man wanted to go into business, so he saved all the money he could and sold most of his possessions. He went to the bank and borrowed thousands of dollars. He worked 12 to 18 hours a day to get his business going. It’s not hard to see how important, how valuable that business is.
A young couple went house shopping. They wanted out of the tiny apartment and crowded neighborhood. They shopped in the suburbs until they found just the right house. The price was very high, so the wife went to work. Together, they would work to buy that house. It was important. They valued it. (cont. pg. 2)