My shopping routine looks a bit like this: I need a special dress. So I go to all the stores that could potentially have the dress I need. I purchase as I go, collecting several options. I keep the tags on everything I buy, of course, until there are no more stores to explore. Then I go home, try on the dresses again, mix with various accessories, and hang them in my closet until a few days have passed and I can be sure I’m choosing the right one.
And when I finally make the decision, I cut the tags off.
This process is exhausting. Silly, even. I confess I also had a similar mindset when I was dating. If I said yes to a date with this guy, would I be missing out on an opportunity with a better match for me?
Since when have small decisions become big ordeals?
We do this in friendships, jobs, and hobbies. We live in a unique time, one in which our options are seemingly endless. Plagued by the fear that something better might be lingering around the corner, we hedge our bets.
FOMO—the fear of missing out—is a cultural phenomenon, even earning itself a spot in the dictionary. It’s defined as the“anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere.” It makes committing to anyone or anything feel like a challenge.
So how do you stay committed in a culture that prizes keeping all options open?
1. Guard your time with Jesus. Spending time with Jesus may not initially seem like the most exciting option competing for your attention. But that’s why you need to prioritize and put safeguards around your time with Jesus. Even if it’s just committing to 20 minutes a day of prayer, silent solitude, and reading the Word, you’ll be laying a foundation for your day that will positively impact every decision you make, both big and small.
2. Practice Commitment. This may sound silly, but if commitment is one of your weaker muscles, practice strengthening it. Choose a book and commit to finishing it before starting another one. Stick with a hobby for 30 days. Buy a dress and cut the tags off when you get home. Make a standing coffee date with a mentor each month—and don’t cancel it.
3. Reduce Clutter. If following what other people are doing in your social media feed is a source of envy, distraction, or anxiety for you—take a break. If online shopping causes you to make unwise decisions with your money—take a break.
4. Ask for Guidance. When you need to make an important decision, ask God for wisdom. Consider fasting for a period for increased clarity. Seek out a mentor figure you respect and ask for their input.
5. Avoid saying “Yes” out of Obligation. This one is especially tough for many women—it’s simply hard to say no. Whether it’s a friend’s party or a community event, don’t succumb to the pressure to say yes simply out of obligation. Every time you say yes to one thing, you are by default saying no to something else. The time God has entrusted to you is precious, so don’t be afraid to use it in a way that honors your priorities.
In the swirl of today’s endless options, being committed is harder than ever before. Yet it’s also more important than ever before. Here’s why:
When you and I choose to be committed, even in the small things, we honor the fact that God has been wildly committed to us. He’s been committed to us in spite of ourselves—to the point of the Cross—and is committed to redeeming this world.
When we find the courage to model commitment in our anti-commitment culture, we take a simple yet profound step of growing into the women God would love for us to become.
Rachel Lohman is a pastor in Southern California who loves tap dancing, running marathons, and speaking. As an aspiring author, she’s passionate about helping women connect their stories of brokenness with the redemption of God’s story, and practicing the way of Jesus alongside her husband and baby boy. She’d love to connect with you on Instagram!