Wednesday, February 20, 2008

An Interesting Thought

I spent last week at a continuing education event for pastors and church leaders. I had a great time. I received a lot of inspiration and learned many things. I was exposed to new foods and experiences as well. Many of my experiences will wind up in this blog, I am sure. One of the things I heard turned out to be a sort of revelation.

A thing can only be a revelation, in my opinion, if it meets one or both of these criteria:
  1. It is a completely new piece of information. It opens the door to new things that you have never considered before.
  2. It is a revelation if it is a result of information that you already have, but you begin to think of the information in a completely new and unique (to you, at least) way of thinking.

This revelation fits into the second category. I had all the components of this thought in my mind before last week, but at that time it was presented in a new way that caused me to process the implications differently than I ever had before. Here it is.

Interested is not the same as committed.

I know. I know. You know that. However, we often convince ourselves that they are the same. Committment is a level of involvement in a cause, purpose or relationship that values the cause above many, perhaps all, other things. Many times we decide that we are interested in a topic and somehow convince ourselves that we are committed to it. But interest is not commitment.

For example, I am very concerned about global warming. I am interested in the effects that humans are having on our world and environment. However, to this point I have not been committed to the cause. I have not changed my lifestyle to be more eco-friendly. I am interested and even concerned about this issue, but I am not committed to it.

The life of faith is much the same. We can convince ourselves that we are committed to our faith, to a particular lifestyle or values, but until our choices change what we have is interest. The importance of Christianity is that we are to be committed, not just interested.

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