A column by David Brooks of the New York Times recently caught my eye. The op-ed piece called, “How Covenants Make Us” was written as part of Mr. Brook’s regular column.
In it, Mr. Brooks cited his belief that our country’s social fabric is weakening in no small part because of our growing disconnection with one another. He went on to say; “When we go out and do a deal, we make a contract.”
In other words, we define the extent of our commitment by legalisms. We think to ourselves, “What must I do to avoid legal repercussions?”
Brooks also noted “When we are situated within something, it is because we have made a covenant… a contract protects interests, but a covenant protects relationships.”
Further, a covenant “involves a vow to serve the relationship” and as exampled in the book of Ruth, perhaps the greatest love story ever written, “Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people… and where you die, I will die and there I will be buried.”
Do Contracts or Covenants Define You?
I have an older friend, Sal, who has been successful in his business, family, and personal relationships. I greatly admire him and trust me, he is nobody’s fool as evidenced by his multiple roles on boards or CEO of several NYSE listed businesses over the years.
Sal once told me he always knew the way out of any contract he signed legally, but he used that insight to better structure success for both parties of the contract.
That has always stuck with me. Sal based his business and personal life on signing or agreeing to covenants and not contracts. And while he was committed to living up to them legally, he was also invested in the well being and success of those he did business and life with.
Each day I try and measure my decisions, relationships and commitments by the question “am I entering into a contract… or am I committing to a covenant?”
Will my life be defined as a maker of Covenants or Contracts?
That’s a question worth asking. And if you have any questions about church seating, please feel free to contact us at ChurchPlaza.