Fidelity to our commitments
It’s obviously a serious business when we enter into commitments. That’s when we promise to stand by them faithfully, regardless of the changing circumstances. That’s when we exercise a special kind of love that is supposed to endure till death.
But how can we be faithful to our commitments given our obvious limitations and imperfections, and the unavoidable mistakes we can commit along the way?
The answer is simply to grow in love. It is to enter into the dynamics of love that needs to grow and grow without measure. It is to see to it that our love increasingly reflects God’s endless love for us.
It is this love that can conquer everything, including sin and death. It is this love that can make everything new. As St. Paul would put it, it is the love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Cor 13,7)
To be sure, putting ourselves in the dynamics of love would also perfect us the way God our Creator wants us to be, and not just how we want ourselves to be. If we can only remember this basic truth, we most certainly would have enough motive to go on loving in spite of all the difficulties, challenges, trials, mistakes, etc., we can meet in living our commitments.
Everyday we just have to find ways to grow in our love a little bit more. And this does not necessarily mean that we have to undertake extraordinary acts. It can only mean putting more love in the usual little things that we do everyday. And this can be done easily.
We need to overcome our tendency to be easily overtaken by routine and boredom. That is why we have to pause from time to time, and even spend some time praying and meditating, so that we can put that impulse of greater love in the ordinary duties of our day.
Our problem is that we tend to put limits and to say enough to our self-giving. While it’s true that in our material and temporal dimensions, we certainly have limits—and it’s good that we acknowledge them and abide by them—in our spiritual dimension we are capable of giving ourselves infinitely.
We need to see to it that we know how to blend our material and spiritual dimensions, without confusing them as we exercise them to their fullest capabilities. We need to adapt the relevant attitude and to learn the pertinent skills, art and virtues.
The fidelity to our commitments should be carried out in true freedom such that at any given moment we should find ourselves driven by love, where eagerness to do things is quite conspicuous, where there is always a go-go attitude marking our behavior. True love cannot remain stagnant. It is by definition dynamic, productive, fruitful and creative.
To be sure, this fidelity to our commitments will perfect us the way God wants us to be. We are supposed to be “the image and likeness of God.” And since God is love, we too ought to be characterized by that divine love as shown in our fidelity to our commitments.
Looking at Christ, we have a clear model of how this fidelity to our commitments can be lived. Christ was and continues to be faithful to us in spite of our sins. And his fidelity is not just something formalistic, bureaucratic, a product of some kind of inertia. It’s a living fidelity, willing to tackle anything that can come along the way, and in fact, to offer his life for us.
This is how our fidelity to our commitments should also be!*
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