Bible Reading: Psalm 119:9-16
I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your principles and not forget your word. Psalm 119:15-16
WHY DO PEOPLE make commitments? Why don’t they just do what they want to do and not do what they don’t want to do? Why do they sign contracts, take pledges, recite wedding vows, and make promises? Earlier this month (August 3), we said that there is power in commitment. Today we want to think about the fact that commitment is a decision ahead of time to do (or not do) a certain thing, and making a commitment in front of other people helps you to do the thing you plan to do.
For example, as a Christian you may want to be pure in thought, word, and deed. But what happens when a couple of your friends invite you to smoke cigarettes with them? What happens when you remember a dirty joke that you think will make the most popular kid in your grade think you’re cool? What happens when you’re invited to watch a video movie at a friend’s house that you know contains some impure parts?
Well, it will be a lot easier to do the right thing in cases like those if you’ve already made a specific commitment to stay pure. For example, if you’ve committed to God and your family not to use bad language, you won’t have to wonder which is the right thing to do when you’re tempted to say something wrong. You’ll remember that you’ve made a commitment ahead of time not to do that. Your commitment may help you choose the right thing when the time comes to choose. And, if you’re like most of us, you need every bit of help you can get.
REFLECT: What kind of commitment did the psalmist make in today’s Bible reading? How might that commitment help you stay pure? Think about what Psalm 119:9 says: “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.”
ACT: Enter into a commitment with God and your family to be pure in thought, word, and deed. Make specific commitments by copying and signing all or part of the pledge below on a separate piece of paper and showing it to your parents, friends, or pastor. (Feel free to add to the pledge or to make it even more specific.)
• I will not use any foul, obscene, or abusive language.
• I will not use any tobacco (cigarettes, snuff, etc.) and will refuse it if anyone offers it to me.
• I will not drink alcohol (beer, wine coolers, etc.) and will refuse it if anyone offers it to me.
• I will not use illegal drugs in any form and will refuse them if anyone offers them to me.
• I will not buy, watch, or look at any movies, magazines, or books that are sexually impure.
I make this commitment today,___________(date).
PRAY: “Dear God, I want to commit to following you in a new way. I commit this pledge to you.”