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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Commitment (01/05/12)

TITLE: Our Only Defense
By Gail Burks


Our Only Defense

The word ‘commitment’, according to Webster, is defined as follows: ‘an agreement or pledge to do something in the future’; or the state or instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled.’

I think commitment develops within one’s heart and one’s mind at an early age, but is either fostered or hindered. I also feel a heart to commit to something can develop suddenly, as a passion or desire to do or be something that the Lord places in one’s spirit.. In thinking about my life as a wife, mother, church member, community worker, my desire over the years was to maintain a level of commitment to the task at hand.
I came from a home where my brother was born premature and diagnosed mentally challenged nearly 60 years ago, my parents divorced when I was 15 years old, and mother who was an alcoholic (but through the grace of God was sober for the remaining 22 years of her life). Although I was saved at an early age, I did not understand the power of living a life really sold out to the Lord until my mid 30’s.

Nonetheless, I grabbed onto commitment as a teenager. My determination to accomplish something was important to me, as I completed four years of college, with a degree in Engineering, despite the challenges of finances and other issues at home.

When I was hired by a major manufacturing company following college graduation, God had a particular plan for my life, since I remained there for nearly 30 years, until the facility closed. As I married, had children, buried my parents, looked after my brother, stood with my husband through seasons of unemployment, underemployment, foreclosure of our home, and a very recent hospitalization, I tried to stay focused and committed to God and what He desired for me and my family. Even through a change in leadership at my church years ago, I continued my work in as an intercessor, evangelist and outreach worker, believing in and supporting the vision and mission of my current Senior Pastor and church leadership willingly and lovingly.

Remember, the basis of Christianity and exhibiting the clearest understanding of commitment is Jesus Christ. Certainly, He could have stopped his journey midway, while a youth, or maybe as a teen-ager, or after selecting his disciples… deciding the challenge would be too much. But, He persevered. He knew His assignment was great, but still pressed to the end….and what a Reward. Through Jesus’ death, burial and RESURRECTION, those who believe in Him have life and have it more abundantly.

Yes, I felt obligated or emotionally impelled to be the best mother and wife possible, but, I often fell short. Yes, I felt committed to my company, my bosses, my Pastor, my spiritual leadership, but often fell short. But, as I am now in my fifties, I am beginning to understand Proverbs 3:5-6, which states “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

In summary, Jesus wants us to be committed to HIM and love HIM with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength. What else are we supposed to do? This is the only defense against a world of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, setbacks, disappointments, sicknesses, diseases, and financial upheaval. But, glory be to God, despite it all, if we stand strong and stay focused, as Christians, we will be rewarded for eternity.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5: 1-2 NIV).

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 387 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judy Sauer 01/12/12
You have been through a lot and covered many topics in your article. Some of the most effective writing I've seen has been on only a few topics to not muddy up the message.

By the way, we all fall short of our expectations - self-inflicted are the worst. It's good to know where to go and start over.
Kristine Baker01/12/12
You have been through a lot in life and know who you should lean on. I like that about this submission.

I think you should focus on one topic of commitment. I feel like you let it all out but did not have a concise focus.
Glynis Becker01/13/12
Wonderful testimony! Thank you for sharing it with us. I agree that focusing on one aspect would certainly tighten it up a bit. Keep on writing!
Lillian Rhoades 01/13/12
There are so many good points in your piece. I love the phrase "grabbed onto commitment." Sometimes you really must grab it and hold it tight, lest you lose it.
:-) You stayed on topic and left the reader with a true sense of your commitment to your faith.
Yes, there are a series of subtopics that confused your message,somewhat. You could have focused on your commitment as mother and how you fulfilled that role, or your commitment to your 30 yr. employment and what challenges you faced to keep that commitment. The many ups and downs you faced with your husband is another sub-topic that could have been the main focus.

Review your piece for run-on and incomplete sentences; especially in the second paragraph.

Despite some lack of focus, you managed to tie it all together in a strong and forceful summary. By the way, it's not necessary to write: "In summary." One possible way to lead into your summary could be this: Through all of my life's experiences, I've learned that Jesus....

Overall, an encouraging testimony and mini-devotional.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/13/12
I think you did a splendid job of making your story about the topic.

Some of your sentences were a tad long and could be overwhelming for some readers. Especially with the word limit, you may want to consider shorter sentences and paragraphs.

I really liked how you shared a personal story and told what you believe in. This helps draw the reader in and makes you relatable to many people.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/20/12
Congratulations for ranking 6th in level one!