With the dawning of a new year and the declaration of many resolutions, I thought this blurb from The Way was rather fitting.
I was not in Jerusalem at that time, for I had returned to King Artaxerxes of Babylon in the thirty-second year of his reign, though I later asked his permission to return. ~Nehemiah 13:6
It would be easy to miss the implication of Nehemiah's passing comment that he had returned to his role of serving a foreign king. But Nehemiah is modeling something enormous for us: commitment to a promise. He had experienced twelve years of leadership in Jerusalem, with stunning results. The wall had been rebuilt, and even better, the people of God had renewed their covenant with God, worship had resumed, and order had returned. But Nehemiah remembered that he had made a commitment to the king he served while in exile - a promise to return after a specific length of time. And he kept that commitment in the face of what must have been countless reasons to break it.
Do you have that kind of integrity when you make a commitment?