Commitment and integrity have been on the forefront of my mind recently. This is mostly due to the fact I’m in the process of buying a home and the idea of a 30-year financial commitment has caused me quite a bit of anxiety. Not to mention, I’m now responsible for home maintenance and repair, taxes, and insurance!
Two other things also occurred in quick succession that fine-tuned my focus on these subjects. The first thing happened while I was at church doing announcements with a fluffy green puppet that is my sidekick and comic relief. We had a “Verse of the Day” which was Matthew 5:37 which states, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil”. This verse’s implication, for me, is that we should strive to be people of integrity who do not need to swear on our lives, our mother’s grave, or ‘to god’ so that people believe our statements. Rather, we should consistently follow through with what we said we would do or would not do to the point where people take us at our word. A few days later it was April 28th; a mile-marker on my commitment to achieve 30 goals that I set for myself during the 30th year of my life. I saw that I’m 2 months in and I didn’t have a proportionate number of goals completed and that I had already failed at a few. I got pretty down on myself for a few days. I felt like I was a failure, that my “yes” and “no” carried no meaning, and convinced myself that it was foolish to make commitments in the first place.
Luckily, I was reminded of the text we had gone through that Sunday during the sermon. (2 Corinthians 1, specifically verses 12-23). In this passage Paul talks about his change of plans to visit Corinth. This is Paul, the Apostle, oppressor turned proponent. He was the guy who would do anything and endure everything to continue traveling and telling people about Jesus. He was beat up multiple times, shipwrecked, bitten by a snake, lied about, imprisoned, put in danger, and went without food or water for long periods of time. Despite all those hardships, he kept doing what he said he was going to do: spreading the good news that Jesus of Nazareth was anointed to be the Savior King.
So, seeing that even Paul had to change his plans every once in a while allowed me to give myself grace. I realized that saying “yes” to buying a home takes a lot of time and energy and delays my response to other commitments. I was also able to catch a glimpse of how saying “yes” to the house will enable and facilitate more of my goals (like 30 new recipes and 30 acts of self-reliance). I learned that integrity doesn’t vacillate as far or as fast as circumstances can, and just because I can’t say “Yes” right now, it doesn’t mean that I’m saying “No”.