Friday, December 7, 2007

Obligations

Obligations are usually surrounded by a negative connotation. But why? What are they and what makes them bad? Obligations are generally people or actions although one could argue that a person being an obligation is in reality the actions or duties related to them. The dictionary defines it as a duty, or gratitude owed. An obligation itself is a noun but I believe it always refers to an act.
Our very first and most important obligation should be to our maker. For that matter, every obligation that exists in our life should follow and be an image of our commitment to God. Life would be much easier if we all followed this simple rule. Christians (this includes me) are much quicker to make a commitment to God than they are to follow through on the responsibilities that go with it. This goes back to that negative feeling we get regarding obligations. It seems like we are referring to something that there's no choice about and the human side of us resists that. We don't like to be told what to do. We like to make our own choices. But why? Its much worse to come back later and admit defeat when we did not follow our commitment but instead chose our own path. Inevitably, it will always lead us down the wrong path. So again, why is it something we choose to resist although we are so willing to make the commitments in the beginning? This is true of our obligations to our spouse, children, work, friends, ect. I guess maybe we should try to get to the root of this problem.........commitments. Perhaps we are too quick to commit to something that we shouldn't be. Think about that the next time you "obligate" yourself for something. Is it something that you feel good about and believe in? Is is something you are willing to put in front of your own wants when its time to make a decision? And most important, are you going to follow through on your responsibilities? If the answer is no, you probably shouldn't be making the commitment in the first place. If the answer is yes, such as your obligation to God, a spouse, or even the PTA, then know that you are going to meet expectation and follow through on your duties. This shouldn't become something that you grimace at when mentioned. After all, if you've asked yourself the right questions before commiting, then what's the problem with the follow through? You did choose to obligate yourself for good reason.