Today’s reading is drawn from Habakkuk 3:17-18.
What a refreshing statement! Many leaders would love to have followers who are this committed to the cause. In fact, many leaders would love to have this level of commitment to their own cause. The key ingredient to Habakkuk’s statement is that it is unidirectional; he promised to maintain his attitude regardless of the payback.
That’s really what “commitment” is. The statement, “I will be committed if” isn’t commitment-making; it’s deal-making. It’s not committing; it’s bargaining. In Habakkuk chapter 2 God explained his justice and his majesty to the prophet. Habakkuk 3:17–18 is he prophet’s response to that revelation of God’s character.
In the absence of a life-consuming ideal, asking for the level of commitment Habakkuk expressed is absurd. Leaders must identify what it is within their organization that is genuinely worthy of commitment. Until leaders complete this definition, they sound rather shallow even talking about it. No sane person will commit to things that don’t really matter. But when an organization’s goals and outcomes are properly related to the living God, and its activities honor him, then commitment makes sense. Instead of asking, “How do we get commitment?” effective leaders will begin by asking, “To what (or whom) are we committed?”