This past Wednesday, college football fans throughout the nation were glued to their respective team’s Twitter feeds and other sources of sports news. The 15th of December was the first day of the early signing period for the 2022 recruiting class. The SEC continued its dominance of recruiting and ended the day with twelve teams in the top 25 featuring the top three teams from the Southeastern Conference. It is a day of great achievement for every young man who has been committed to his craft and is rewarded an athletic scholarship to play in the college ranks. We may brag about our college’s success in the early signing period, but we also know that a player’s commitment to our team is no longer the same as it used to be – Why?

The old way of a student-athlete being committed to a university for his entire college career has changed dramatically in the past few years. A student-athlete has multiple options to transfer during his college career. This past Sunday, an athlete from Auburn, announced that he will forego his senior season with Auburn and will use a graduate transfer to play with a new school/team. The new transfer portal, which gives an athlete the chance to immediately play, has become another factor of re-recruiting athletes who had originally chosen a different school. One final challenge that is changing the face of college football and recruiting is the new NIL laws. Each of these options have made a player’s commitment to his university at least suspect and lacking in comparison to the “old school” definition of commitment. Could the same be possibly said concerning our commitment to Christ?   

The commitment required by Jesus for His disciples is absolute. We are called by the gospel to commit our lives to the cause of Christ. When one has been baptized into Christ, his old man of sin has been put to death and buried. We have been transferred out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). We have been rescued from the domain of darkness, and transferred into the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). This transfer is not a two-way street where we go back-and-forth, but rather we have died to sin and been made alive to God through Jesus (Romans 6:3-7). We have made a commitment to God that we will live faithfully until our death!

This commitment to God should not depend upon personal preferences or likes and dislikes. We are to be fully committed to the call of the gospel and living it out in our lives everyday. Our commitment to God should be demonstrated by the choices we make, the places we go, and the people we spend our time with. Discipleship is not a piece of clothing we put on and take off on Sundays and Wednesday nights, but rather it is something to be manifested at all times. Our commitment to God should never be muted by the threats of this world, but rather confessed with boldness to all we encounter. Commitment to the cause of Christ comes with persecution and suffering, but always remember the promise of God – “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b).

Commitment and its definition has changed in our world, but it should never be altered in the hearts of Christians. We have been saved by the grace of God, not to return to living in sin, but rather to faithfully serve Him all the days of our lives.  May God give us the strength to remain steadfast and immovable in our commitment to our Savior Jesus Christ!