“I do.” These are the words couples say to each other when they commit to their marriage vows. They are saying, “I choose you exclusively and above all others to bring my best for you.” It is a commitment to be regularly reaffirmed and lived out.
Besides marriage, there are many other relationships we make commitments to. These are in our families, churches, friendships, etc. A key to successful living in the highs and lows of life is to determine who are the priority relationships and then continue to say “I do” (“I choose you again”). This is one evidence we are a powerful decision-maker.
I am working on a book called Fully Convinced: The Art of Decision Making. I believe it will be one of the most important books I write. As with all my writings, the content has resulted from my own experiences and struggles (in this case decision making) and what I believe God has shown me in moving from indecision to greater decisiveness (attaching faith to the decisions and commitments I make). Some of the concepts I plan to release in this book are:
Double-mindedness is an enemy of great influencers
The anxiety of not knowing what to do is a bigger problem than not knowing what to do
Three evidences we have attached faith to our decisions and commitments are cheerfulness, energy, and power
A bad decision made in faith has a greater likelihood of success than a good decision made in doubt (and I am not talking about sinning in faith 🙂
There are three mindsets we can have in fulfilling our commitments: reluctance, passivity, or attaching faith to them
It is this last bullet point that relates to the topic, “I choose you.” As we determine the people we are to be committed to and believe something significant is happening in every interaction with them, it catapults our choosing into massive influence.
Faithfulness is not just showing up, it is how we think when we show up. We show up full of faith that good things will happen because of what we are doing. This thinking is a “secret sauce” of people who increasingly ignite hope. It is true, whether it is a family member, spouse, pastor/boss, organizational team members, friends, etc.
One of the obstacles to choosing people again and again is the normal pattern of most relationships:
Then the choice of disconnection or connection
If you are experiencing disappointments in relationships, then I have these words for you: “Welcome to the club.” We all do. How we respond to the varying degrees of relational disappointments will determine much about the quality of our lives. Certainly, we are to create healthy boundaries concerning abusive or unsafe people, but if we have the habit of withdrawing our hearts from people who disappoint us, we will limit our fulfillment and influence in life.
Here is a tool to keep away from bitterness and disconnection: When tempted to inwardly or verbally criticize a person or group, immediately turn it into prayer for them. Ask God to bless them. This habit will lay a powerful foundation for you to choose again the important people of your life.
“I choose you again, and again, and again .. . .” This is what our Heavenly Father says to us. We get to say it back to Him, and then to the ones we have committed to in our lives.
Questions for reflection and response:
Who are the people you are to be committed to*?
Out of these, who are the most important?
Who have you withdrawn your heart from because of disappointment?
What are the keys for you to choose again and again the people God has placed in your life?
* Jesus had different layers of relationships. He had the three, twelve, seventy, five-thousand, etc. He had good boundaries to make sure those closest to Him received the most from Him. Even though we may “choose” many people, those closest to us will get our priority investments of time, emotion, and resources.
My book, The Culture of Empowerment, would be a good follow-up to this blog. And my podcast (click below) will take you deeper into this topic as well.
For more on topics like this, listen to my podcast by clicking the link below.
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.