It is no secret to people that know me that I sometimes have a hard time making a decision. I am basically lazy and I only want to do things once. If I make the wrong decision then that generally means that I not only have to do it again, but fix whatever wrong decision I made the first time. So I sometimes spend an incomprehensible about of time making what should be a very simple decision. I am getting better… well, maybe not… yup, I’m getting better… well, let me think about that a minute…
What I do with my time is one of the most important decisions that I make. Way more important than what I do with my money. If I spend my money on something that I probably shouldn’t have… well, I’ll make more money and it might hurt a bit, but I’ll get over it. If I spend my time one something foolish, then that time is gone. I can never get that time back.
Matthew 5:33-37 says
“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
So what does this have to do with making decisions? Let me ask you a couple of questions. Why do we feel like we need to make an oath or “swear” to do something? Why do we feel that we have to get a “firm commitment” or “get it in writing” before we can trust someone? Perhaps it is because we have grown accustomed to people not doing what they say. “I will be there” has come to mean “I will be there, unless something better comes up or it is a little inconvenient for me to be there.” We all have those people in our lives that we don’t believe. Some of them are even in leadership positions around us. They are good people and talk a good game, but their “Yes” is “Maybe” and their “no” is “I can’t decide”.
Accountability is something that is becoming a lost art in our society. We are so focused on what everyone else is doing, we don’t have time to take care of ourselves. Our conversations, the nightly news, and even the TV shows we watch are largely focused on other people and what they are or are not doing. I cannot be accountable for you. I have a hard enough time being accountable for myself. I am not always accountable. But I do not want to commit to being someplace or doing something unless I know I can do it. I want to live a life where my “yes” is “yes” and my “no” is “no”. I do not want to be the person that you need to get a “firm” commitment from. If I tell you I will, I want to live the kind of life that you know you can count on me. I want to live a life of being accountable for my own actions. It is easy to put the blame off on someone else or other circumstances, but being accountable means we live the life God has called us to live despite the circumstances around us.
God calls us to be accountable. To live a life that we are not constantly starting and quitting activities because it is getting busy or hard. God calls us to be disciplined with the time he has given us and to be accountable for our actions. Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no” and live a life that you are one that people trust.