Sheep and Goats (5)


This is the last (for a time) in a series of posts regarding discipleship.  If you’ve not been following, the series is based upon Matthew 25, particularly the “sheep and goat” passage.

Have you seen the Dobson video?  I’m speaking of the one where he talks about overcommitment.  If you haven’t seen it, click here.

Great thought, right?  Dr. Dobson makes the point that life often gets in the way of what’s most important.  Recently, I had a discussion with a man who said, “We’ve told the boys they can only play one sport this year.  They have to choose.”  I replied, “Good for you.”  I wish more parents would do the same.  Football runs into basketball that runs into baseball that runs into soccer that runs into gymnastics that runs into dance lessons that runs into Boy Scouts.  You get the idea.  We’ve convinced ourselves that the more our kids are exposed to, the better parents we are.  The busier we are, the more successful we’ll be.  It’s all a lie!  I’m with Dr. Dobson.  Something’s got to give.

Now here’s where I’m going to push back a bit.  Is it really a problem of overcommitment?  Could it be that we’re simply committed to the wrong things?  Each of the things listed aren’t inherently bad.  But when it takes over a life, it becomes idolatrous.   Johnny can’t come to youth group because he had practice on Monday and Thursday and had games on Tuesday and Friday.  He’s just too tired!  Suzie has Girl Scouts on Wednesdays now.  She’s been a part of the scouts for four years.  We don’t want to let those people down!  And it’s not just the kids, right?  I’m in the civic club, on the committee that meets twice per week, etc.  I just can’t say “No!”  I can’t make Bible study because I am so tired.

The fact is discipleship entails discernment.  When you’re no longer the king of your domain (but Jesus is), it makes you constantly evaluate your priorities.  Here’s some words that sound pretty harsh:

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple…So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Lk 14:25-27, 33

Any guess as to who said that?  The Sunday School answer is right in this case.  Jesus!  Jesus makes it clear what it means to be a follower.  Of course He’s not speaking of hate the way we often think of hate.  He’s not preaching about a pauper lifestyle.  The point He’s making has to do with discipleship.  It’s about living for Him – not me nor you!  There will be those around you (even in your family) who consider your commitment to be “over the top,” “excessive,” or an “overcommitment.”  You can’t worry about that.  Nothing can be more important than your relationship with Christ!

One last thought: You think Jesus was “overcommitted” when He died for the sin of the entire world?  May He find us committed to the right things when He returns!


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