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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are Your Promises Good?

Growing up, I remember my little sister saying to my mom at times, "Your promises aren't good."  It wasn't that my mom told her things all of the time and then deliberately broke her word, it was probably just that things didn't work out the way she thought they would and plans had to be changed.  What my sister took as a "promise" was more just a "statement" of what would most likely take place.  Then sometimes (apparently), it didn't take place. It wasn't anything major, my sister has grown up to be a responsible, reliable adult without any "damage" from the few broken promises (ha ha!).

That phrase, "Your promises aren't good," has always stuck in my mind - especially in raising our four children. To a young child, no matter how big or how small the promise is, if it's not kept, it means that the promise was broken.  Children take things very literal, which is why we must be careful how we speak to them, right?!  On the other hand, sometimes we say we will do something and actually plan to do it, but then we don't.  Maybe we forget.  Maybe we change our mind.  But, sadly, sometimes we never intended to follow through with our actions in the first place.  Surely we would never just say something to pacify someone for a little while, would we?  Ouch!  Makes me think of a few instances when I would tell my children "in a minute".....then after an extended time I'd finally get to whatever they wanted.....maybe. At least I hope I did.  Hmmmm......

As Christians, our promises should be good.  If we tell people we're going to do something, we should do it.  If we say we will help, we should help.  The problem is that some of us can't say no and we get to saying "yes" too often, then we can't follow through with our promises.  We shouldn't just say "yes" to avoid saying "no".  We have to, as the scripture says, "Let our yes be yes and our no be no".  Complete and honest truth.  Nothing more and nothing less.

All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. 
Matthew 5:37.

Maybe we're too busy.  Maybe we've promised too many things to too many people and we're in a bind.  Some wise advice from my brother-in-law's sermon Sunday will help with that problem:

Don't make a "TO DO" list. Make a "TO DON'T DO" list!

If we're overcommitted to people, we have to learn to say no.  If we've promised to do something, then see we're unable to follow through, we must acknowledge it and tell them.  That's our duty and obligation.  Either we must follow through or admit it when we can't.....and allow others to help.  

From time to time, we may have encountered human promises that weren't good.  Humans aren't perfect.  But God is perfect!  And His promises are always good!  He has never and will never break a promise!  Not one of them.  Isn't that a comforting thought?!  Isn't it great to know that whatever is written in His Word is truth and will never change?!

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
2 Peter 1:4

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
Psalm 145:13

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Love that idea of the "Don't do" list...we need to carefully look at our days and make sure we don't do a lot of meaningless things!

 
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