Falling down on my promises

I am not a failure, but I realized the other day I have failed miserably in one particular area of my life as a Christian.

Several hundred times over the years, though I have no idea of the exact count, I have stood with other Christians and gladly said these words:

“With God’s help we will so order our lives after the example of Christ, that [this child], surrounded by steadfast love, may be established in the faith and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal.”

More recently the words have been:

“We give thanks for all that God has already given you and we welcome you in Christian love

As members together with you in the body of Christ and in this congregation of The United Methodist Church,

we renews our covenant

faithfully to participate in the ministries of the church

by our prayers, our presence,

our gifts, our service,

that in everything God may be glorified

through Jesus Christ.”

Yes, that’s right. I have said these words many times. Whenever someone was baptized at a worship service I attended, or when I was the one doing the baptizing, we included these words.

United Methodists include statements like the above not only because we baptize infants and others still too young to speak for themselves. We pledge ourselves to one another also because we believe that following Jesus is best done in the company of others who want to live the same way.

I cannot begin to name all the people whose baptisms I have been present for, yet in each and every case I promised, out loud before God and everybody, to support, encourage, and help them to live this thing we call the Christian life.

I have failed.

Perhaps if I live today as though everyone I come in contact with could be one of these, I can begin to make up for my failure.

5 thoughts on “Falling down on my promises

  1. Are you talking about complete and utter failure? Or merely the lack of universal absolute success? I don’t think the former is a credible description of your life. The latter in completely believable, though once we’re not speaking in universalistic terms it doesn’t sound so serious.

  2. REALLY! I must disagree with your self- assessment. Through your example and leadership thousands of lives have been changed and improved. You have consistently shown God’s love, grace and comfort. I’m hoping you will feel the comfort of God’s grace and love. You are a blessing.

  3. A solid 1 Thess. 4:1 realization. I can echo what the previous commenters have said in affirming your witness to God’s love. I’m also with you in the desire to do so “more and more” with those I come into contact with. Keep it up friend.

  4. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. I don’t mean utter failure; I don’t really even mean that I feel I haven’t been doing much (or enough) in discipling others. What I mean is that the specific individuals to and for whom I pledged to do so I have not done so well on. I don’t even remember who most of them are.

  5. […]  There are a lot of rules of life that we agree to, yet sometimes forget to consider; i.e. our Baptismal Covenant, Steve wrote about this forever ago & I think it is something that can get lost outside of a […]

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