A colorful balloon arch stretched across the room. An adorable diaper cake took center stage on the food table. Hand-decorated cookies and a beautiful charcuterie board waited for guests.
And nobody came.
Sadly, it wasn’t the first time I’d heard of no-shows for a baby shower. In fact, I’ve heard many accounts recently of invited guests failing to show up for showers, parties, and special events. Failing to respond to RSVPs seems to be a current trend.
Even in the church.
Let’s be honest. The temptation to be a no-show is understandable. After all, we’re busy people. Gone is the day when we had to wait for an invitation to arrive by mail. That’s when the standing rule of etiquette obliged us to accept the first invitation that was received, and to respond promptly.
Nowadays, invitations come instantaneously via text, email, or social media. So, we may be tempted to keep our calendars open for last-minute opportunities that may be more appealing or convenient. But the Bible reminds us that one of the codes of Christian integrity is to “let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no” (James 5:12).
Obligation isn’t a dirty word. Instead, it beautifully describes the bond we should feel for our Christian brothers and sisters. “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1).
In opposition to the current trend, the Scriptures instruct us to stop looking out for number one and start obligating ourselves to others. Even if it means showing up when it’s inconvenient.