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Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Christian Minimum Commitment Rule

Most of the time you should keep the minimum commitment rule. In other words, don't commit more resources to do any task or activity than it takes to do it well. This rule applies as long as you know that you can define "well."

Car dealers often present television and newspaper ads of cars with unbelievably low prices. The naive person thinks this is the minimum commitment required to buy a new car. They run down to the dealership to find that the car which has been advertised has already been sold. The "new car seed" has already been planted. The dealer shows what he has for "just a little more." In fact, the payments will be only a few dollars a month more if they are stretched out for another year. The person is sucked in by their own naive belief that cars could be that cheap. They are captured by that dealer by raising the minimum commitment. Lots of people buy cars they can't afford this way.

Many Christians look at their friends and believe that the minimum commitment is what the average of their friends are doing. They have very little desire to become God fanatics. They just want to be normal believers who take some of their sense from the world as well as some religion from God.

That would be find it we were the people who could determine what the minimum commitment is. However, the car dealer determines the price and, therefore, determines the minimum commitment. He or she can do so because it is their dealership. They own it and know what they can sell a car for and make a profit.

The relationship with God is determined like any relationship is. The relationship with a spouse is determined by what that spouse requires for the relationship to continue. The relationship with any friend, any employee or employer, any child or parent or anyone we want to have a relationship with is determined by the mutual agreement of what it takes for the relationship to exists. In other words, we can't be the only ones who determine we are going to have a relationship with God. He has some say about the minimum commitment rule.

Micah had something to say about this. He recorded the Lord's requirements:

Micah 6:8 (ESV)  He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

This is a whole lot more than simply acting like our Christian friends if they are not doing justice, loving kindness and humbly walking with their God. It means that they don't have much of a relationship if this is the Lord's requirements (minimum commitment) and they are not meeting them.

I suppose this is the reason that many people haven't heard from God in a very long time. Yes, they made a decision to follow after Him but have forgotten that it required them to really be close to Him. Following doesn't let the one you are following get out of sight.

So, many Christians will go to church tomorrow, sing songs or not, pray or not, give or not, listen or not and never worship for one minute. They can't because that would require a relationship that they simply do not have. Yet, they may pat themselves on the back saying, "There, I've done my religious activity for the week. I've met my obligation. I feel good about myself."

They should be asking themselves why they didn't hear from God . . .and no it wasn't the preacher's fault. It was their own lack of doing justice, loving kindness and humbly walking with God that closed their ears.

I pray that everyone who reads this will worship a Living God who speaks to them freely because they have made a commitment to Him.

Yes, it is the minimum commitment but it takes everything they have to make it.

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