The Principle of Pledging, by B. H. Clendennen

B.H. Clendennen (1922-2009)SOC Founder

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, And set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee” (Luke10:33-35).

The good Samaritan moved with compassion, personally administered first aid, provided ambulance service, and made an immediate payment toward this man’s lodging and care in the inn. But he did not stop there. With a personal vow, he pledged to pay all future costs of caring for this man’s needs until he was whole again. “The Good Samaritan Pledge” There are many lessons taught in this story, but we will consider only one at this time, namely, “The Good Samaritan Pledge,” or the promise of the good Samaritan to pay all future costs of caring for this man. His compassion made him willing to see the case through to the end.

Some people are reluctant to make a vow, a promise, or a pledge, but a vow speaks of a continuing interest; a pledge commits one to a defined purpose until that purpose is accomplished.

The Pledging Principle

The entire redemptive program of God is premised upon a vow or promise. God pledges Himself to do certain things at specific times to help men find abundant life and partner with Him in restoring a lost paradise.

The scripture abounds with records of men and women making vows, and it is pretty evident that God is always pleased with those who will commit themselves to a sacrificed task and that His blessings rest upon those who make specific vows or pledges.

It was after Daniel had purposed in his heart to make certain sacrifices concerning the future that God gave him favor and began to work in  is life in a most wonderful way.

The Value of Pledging

In some strange, indefinable way, making a vow or pledge to help others seems to bring one into a closer relationship with God, into a kinship with the very nature of God, and makes one a worker together with God.

A pledge is an act of faith. It speaks of a determination to serve God, not only in the present but also in the future. By making a vow or pledge, one takes hold of the future with determination and purpose and does away with indecision, which always genders defeat. Making a vow or pledge speaks of confidence in the future and places one in line of duty. Making a vow or pledge reveals a willingness to assume responsibility, a mark of maturity. Making a vow or pledge indicates that one can reach a decision, that he has faith in his own commitments, and that he is not merely a creature of impulse.

“Do Thou Likewise”
Jesus recounted the story of the good Samaritan to a lawyer who came inquiring what he must do to inherit eternal life.

Jesus answered the question by asking another: “What is written in the law?...and he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Jesus said, “This do and thou shalt live”. But the lawyer willing to justify himself said, “Who is my neighbor?” Then Jesus gave him the story of the good Samaritan and gave this simple command “Go and do thou likewise.” This command still applies today.

Need For Pledging Christians
I have been to the place where this incident described by Jesus occurred two thousand years ago. My heart was moved, and I thought upon this act of compassion by the good Samaritan and convicted by Jesus’ command, “Go and do thou likewise.”

Such a ministry required not only present help but even the making of sacrificial pledges so that the good works we have begun might be completed.

The whole world is a “Jericho Road,” and every living person who has a need is “Lying beside this road,” waiting for help and deliverance.

Everyone is involved in this scene. Are you taking the role of the priest, the Levite, or the good Samaritan?

Which Example Will You Follow?
Your own decision determines which one of these three men your life will be patterned after. You can walk by on the other side of the road and ignore the world’s needs; you can look upon them like the priest and the Levite and say, “Well, there’s nothing I can do about it.” Or, like the Samaritan, you can bend low over this helpless man and minister to his needs with what you have. You can minister not only to his present needs, but like the good Samaritan, you can pledge yourself to minister to his needs until those needs are met.

Excerpt from the article, “The Principle of Pledging” by B.H. Clendennen printed in the March 1975 edition of the “International Voice of Victory” magazine.