Roy* is a Pied Piper to college-age guys who’ve never had a strong, healthy man in their lives. They feel safe with him. But he also shoots straight, telling them what they need to hear even when it’s hard. God has used Roy to inspire big changes in the lives of dozens of young men.
Carla* has a warm, low-key presence. Women open up to her about things they’ve never shared before. Many women, especially those who have suffered abuse, have found sweet healing through time with Carla.
But even with their incredible God-given gifts, Roy and Carla are both sabotaging their own ministries.
Last fall after getting off to a great start with his college guys, Roy starting missing ball games he’d promised to attend. He was 45 minutes late for a pizza night with the guys. He would say, “I’ll call you to do lunch” and never call. After a while the guys realized, “Roy loves me, but I can’t count on him to be there for me.”
Carla loves to serve. She started a women’s Bible study then a support group for abuse victims. She joined her church’s Women’s Ministry Team and signed up to help in the nursery.
But life happened, and Carla found herself cancelling her small groups more and more often. After meeting twice with the Women’s Ministry Team she missed the next three meetings. And after three turns in the nursery, she had to quit.
Jesus cautioned, “Don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money.” (Luke 14:28-29 NLT).
Carla has a heart to serve, but often fails to count the cost. She makes commitments without asking, “If I take this on, what will I give up to make time for it?”
Roy often feels overwhelmed. When his emotional energy runs low, he sometimes makes excuses rather than honoring his commitments.
Now meet Gary. I have served with Gary on the same consulting team for eighteen years. Gary has many abilities, but I think the one I admire most is his dependability. Paul calls it faithfulness (Gal. 5:22). When Gary says, “I’ll do it,” I never need to remind him. It’s as good as done.
A while back I was considering three candidates for a job. All three had the work skills, but deciding was easy. I chose the one with the strongest track record of dependability. For that job, as with most, the most important ability is depend-ability.
- Once you agree to do something, can the person asking you to do it cross it off her list and forget about it?
- Which of your co-workers exhibit impeccable dependability?
- When unexpected circumstances make it impossible to keep a commitment, what does a dependable person do?
* Names and details have been changed