Not long ago I asked for your input. I told you that coming soon,we would be undertaking a discussion about commitments. But wait,… there’s more.
What I didn’t tell you was I was having a bit of a quandary myself about commitments, covenants, the differences between the two, and whether or not my standards were too high. These are some of the issues we’ll focus on now. here on Becoming Today,
You may recall I posted a list of questions that I asked you to take some time and ponder. ICYMI or failed to submit your thoughts, here they are for review:
How do you define commitments?
Do you honor your commitments?
Why or why not?
Do you expect others to honor their commitments?
Can you define for us what a covenant is?
What is the difference between a covenant and a commitment?
Do you enter into commitments? Covenants? Both? Or neither?
Why or why not?
Why do I see these questions as so important, that’s what I’m about to reveal.
I take my commitments very seriously and even more so when it’s elevated to the level of a covenant. I’ll explain the differences in a moment, but first let’s talk about why commitments are so important to our shared path of Always Being Becoming.
Extensive and thorough goal setting, as I’ve previously shared, has been an important step for our household. Holding ourselves to some strict Standards and Practices, we in my household have set regular dates for goal review.
We committed to doing so because we wanted to be among the exceptions. Striving some might say to be part of a minority. When we examine the research into goal setting and New Year’s Resolutions, we learn that only half of all adults in the U.S. actively resolve to make the considerations. Of that half, only 10% will see it to fruition and 80% of those who do not, deem themselves a failure by just the second week in February.
That is why we have incorporated strict accountability measures into our plans for “Becoming”.
You can not initiate a change in your circumstances or affect yourself positively without remaining strongly committed to the ideas and whys. What you want or need to improve and why it is not only necessary, but makes you feel so becoming about it.
Though before one can undertake any of that we must answer the first question:
How do you define commitments?
A quick click to the dictionary offers this explanation: “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.” What they fully mean by et cetera I’m not exactly sure, seems to me they were not committed to offering us a full explanation or at least taking a deeper look into the realm of possibilities in which we can dedicate ourselves to.
So let’s dig a little deeper and see what Dictionary.com offers us:
the act of committing. Don’t you just love when they offer another version of the same word as an alleged explanation of it? Let’s skip over that and move to their second option.
the state of being committed. Grr ….they did it again, though I;m not going to let myself get mad enough that some will suggest I should be committed..
Scrolling down another line, ahh this is a little more like it….
the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
Continuing on #4 is a pledge or promise; obligation: further developed by, “We have made a commitment to pay our bills on time.”
Next up is dedication; allegiance: as in “They have a sincere commitment to religion.”
I’m starting to see a shared understanding coming into view.
Understanding that words have meaning, and in those interpretations is power, then the need to clearly express ourselves to one another sis of the utmost importance.
Therefore let’s agree to define a commitment as:
An informed decision to dedicate our action or actions towards fulfilling a pledge, promise or obligation with sincerity, honesty, dedication and allegiance to a common goal or for the good of the whole.
Next I asked you: Do you honor your commitments?
For myself I am confident in saying that I always strive to do my best. I don’t take commitments lightly and as we discussed last week in “The Golden Rule”, honoring my obligations is one of those universal truths that all should be dedicating themselves to.
So I’ll ask you again, Do you honor your commitments? And expand upon it with our third query, Why or why not?
For me, the “why” or the reason I do honor them is because of my deeply held beliefs and values. Including that all persons are entitled to be treated with compassion, dignity and respect at all times. If I fail to meet an obligation then I’m also not being respectful of others involved or affected by that decision.
My fourth question was, Do you expect others to honor their commitments?
I suspect you may already be able to discern what my answer will be. Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt I do. Allowing for humanness, life happening and subject to the timing of others, if someone has made a commitment to me I expect them to treat it with an appropriate level of respect, not only due me, but towards themselves. If you don’t take responsibility for your promises. Your words are not expressions of truthfulness and others can only perceive that honesty and credibility are not inherent in your nature.
I hope you are able to be beginning to see why this issue of commitments and covenants has been a concern for me.
Next I submitted for your consideration: Can you define for us what a covenant is?
Surely I can and will, glad you asked (insert audible giggle here).
At its most basic meaning a covenant is described as “an agreement” but it is so much deeper than that. A covenant also involves a more legalistic, regulated and definition of a deeper level such as a compact, treaty, pact, accord, settlement, protocol, entente, pledge,, bond, indenture, and / or guarantee.
In our goal statements I noted, they were a covenant level accord, freely entered into and signed with the vow,
“I consider this a binding agreement between the Lord and myself, fully accepting all responsibility for co-creating my best life now.”
Our next inquiry involved, What is the difference between a covenant and a commitment?
Already I’ve noted a covenant is a deeper level of commitment. It consists of a greater understanding of the obligations, duties and responsibilities involved. It also necessitates a higher level of responsibility, duty and honor.
Perhaps the best understanding of the importance of a covenant is to consider it’s meaning from a Scriptural context. Covenants were entered into by people amongst themselves as well as to and from God. Including the agreement between God and the ancient Israelites, in which God promised to protect them if they kept His law and were faithful to Him.
Law, faithfulness, accountability, and more severe consequences for those not taking responsibility for their fulfillment of a covenant level agreement. That;s the big difference between a commitment and covenant,
The final two of the eight questions I posed to you were, Do you enter into commitments? Covenants? Both? Or neither? Followed by, Why or why not?
The short answer, if there ever actually is one for me, is both.
I do not take either commitments and especially covenants lightly. So I carefully consider my levels of involvement and dedication before promising or pledging anything to anyone.
We began this conversation with my revealing to you why I was seeking your responses. What I didn’t tell you when I first posed then was hat tI was having a bit of a quandary about commitments, covenants, the differences between the two, and whether or not my standards were too high.
So let me ask you this. After our discussion today do you believe my standards are too high? Because while I recognize that my levels of accountability are considerably different from many I encounter and definitely infinitely higher than many of the poor excuses who claim to be so-called leaders I do not feel I should stoop to their levels.
At the time of my developing the questions I was undergoing the termination of a commitment. It was a relationship I had been seeking for a while and still feel the need and desire for. However after making big promises and dedicating themselves to a defined schedule for their services, I found myself in the position of opting to graciously release them from their obligation.
In this scenario the other party was committing to the leadership role and instead of doing so, I began to get delays, excuses and the eventual, “you deserve better than me.”
Not in a mean sense but she’s right.
I do deserve better.
I do deserve to have commitments honored and covenants reached to be carried out in full accord with the nature of the situation.
We all do.
Accepting anything less is against the very nature of “Always Being Becoming”.