Are You ‘Interested’ or ‘Committed’?
by C.A. Phillips
Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”
Jesus said, “The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”
At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” John 6:60, 63-67 (NLT)
I recently listened to a podcast where Molly Fletcher, an author/speaker who spent years as an agent in the sports and entertainment industry, shared some insights on what makes a leader great. Molly had shared one of her favorite quotes by former NFL player and current Arizona State University Head Coach Herm Edwards:
“There’s a difference in being interested, and being committed. Which are you?”
That will hit you right between the eyes! When we stop and ask ourselves that question with respect to the areas of our lives we claim matter the most to us, it can be a game-changer. And, if we’re honest, we may not like the answer.
I think back on my career as a baseball player. For more than ten years, I was the best player on the field. But, I got complacent. By age 16, I was no longer a standout on the field. I had all the tools, but not the drive. I was interested in being a good ball player, but no longer committed to doing what it took to be the best.
If you pick up a hobby, then ‘interest’ is perfectly fine! You likely don’t have the time to devote to a hobby. If you do, then it’s more than a hobby – it’s a passion or conviction you have.
But, when it comes to the things we call ‘priorities’ in life, we need to be more than just interested. Consider the following questions:
- Am I committed to being a positive influence for my family, or just interested?
- Do I want to want to be wise financially, or am I just going to ‘figure it out as I go’?
- Am I willing to spend the extra time honing my craft, or is my time better spent binging TV shows and thumbing through social media?
- I’d like to grow in my walk with the Lord, but am I committed enough to wake up 30 minutes earlier, or carve out time during my lunch hour to read a devotion and pray?
Your priorities are not what you claim they are. Your priorities are what your actions say they are. I have said to numerous people through the years: “I can tell you what’s important to you by looking at your bank statement and your calendar.”
Where are your time and money being devoted? Are you truly committed to the things that are the most rewarding? Or, are you settling for a replacement far less valuable in the long run?
In the scripture reference above, Jesus had begun to raise the bar. He was intentionally thinning out the ranks, identifying who was ‘interested’ and who was ‘committed.’ For those who stuck with Jesus – and The Way – it became a more arduous journey, but extraordinarily rewarding.
My challenge to you would be to begin by identifying one area you’d like to grow in, and be consistent and disciplined for no less than 60 days – and see how the Lord honors it. And, once you see how commitment can change things, you’ll be motivated to take this same approach in other areas of your life.
C.A. Phillips is a lifelong sports enthusiast and youth baseball coach, and currently serves as the Communications Pastor and Director of Men’s Groups at NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, Ga. He lives in Kennesaw with his wife, Amy, and his two sons, Chaz and Chandler.
Imagine that you could sit down and pick the brains of some of the top leaders in the country! That’s the premise behind the Linch with a Leader podcast. Learn how these leaders – all among the best in their respective field – have risen to the top, while continuing to grow spiritually and chase after the Lord.