The fear of commitment to Christ
by Terry Broome
I’ve often heard it said that “You can’t leap a chasm in two leaps. If you intend to get across it you have to be totally committed to the goal.”
It just may be that we need to go back to a primer course in our efforts to teach people and help them to see that following Jesus is a commitment. It cannot succeed half-heartedly.
If I want to go to heaven I will have to walk with Jesus without any reservations. Friends, the call of Jesus is a call of commitment. Jesus made it abundantly clear that to be one of His disciples requires our total commitment to Him: Matthew 10:37-39 (KJV) ³⁷ “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. ³⁸And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. ³⁹He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
Why the fear of commitment? Perhaps it’s because of a fear of losing the freedom to do what they want to do in life. Many do not want to be held accountable to a moral code, but instead want to be free to live any life they choose that brings them “happiness.” Essentially, people want the freedom to sin without feeling guilty about it, so they avoid listening to the truth of God’s Word.
Many fear change. Most people fear change because it threatens their way of life; they are comfortable in their sin. People prefer to stay in their “comfort zone” and continue the habits and routines that have given them a sense of security in life. There is a fear of commitment to Christ, for it would mean, in most cases, a radical change of one’s lifestyle.
Many fear greater responsibility. There is reluctance by many to commit themselves to Christ, for they know this would mean greater personal responsibility in their life. To follow Jesus would mean making Christ your top priority in life, to spend each day in His service, fulfilling His will in your life (Col. 3:17).
Many people avoid such responsibility. Some have convinced themselves that they are incompetent, and just not cut out to be a Christian! This erroneous belief stems from the idea that to be successful as a Christian you must depend solely on your own strength. This is a common misunderstanding of where our “sufficiency” comes from. Our “sufficiency” comes from living the life of a Christian: 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 (KJV) ⁴ “And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: ⁵Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”
It’s is important that we realize that all God requires of you can be accomplished by His help. We will no longer fear responsibility when we put our trust and faith in the Lord who gives us the strength to do all things (Phil. 4:13). When we walk by faith, believing in God’s power that works within us, we will be able to meet our responsibilities to Him (Eph. 3:14-20). Even when you feel weak, inadequate, or weighted down by the trials of life, God’s grace will sustain you and keep you strong (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
The fear of failure will disappear when we learn to focus on the victory that is ours in Jesus Christ. The fear of failure should not prevent anyone from becoming a Christian. The reason we need Christ in the first place is because we are failures! (Rom. 3:23-24). Even when you give your best to the Lord as a Christian, you will still need God’s forgiveness from time to time (1 John 1:8-10). Failure or transgression doesn’t mean you weren’t committed to Christ to begin with. It just means you will need His grace along the way.
Those who fear losing their freedom in Christ simply do not understand that they are already enslaved! John 8:34 (KJV) ³⁴ “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” Jesus fulfilled his commitment to us so that we could be saved (John 19:30; Heb. 12:2). Will you now commit yourself to the One who laid down His life for you?
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.