June 11, 2012

“It is better to not vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.” – Ecclesiastes 5:5

How many people do you know really keep their word? Those around you right now? Co-workers? Neighbors? Friends? Family? How about you …do you keep your word?

A person who keeps his or her word is quite uncommon. Whether an executive or an apprentice, a student or a teacher, a blue or white collar worker, a Christian, a Jew, non-religious, atheist, white, black, you name it, those who keep their word is a rare breed indeed! Today there seems to be a credibility gap regardless of race, belief or culture. To say something is “credible” is to say it is “capable of being believed, trustworthy.” To refer to a “gap” suggests a “breach or a reason for doubt.”

Think about it, jurors often have reason to doubt the testimony of a witness on the stand. Parents have reason at times to doubt their children’s word (and visa-versa). Most today certainly doubt our politicians and for good reason …they just aren’t credible! Creditors can no longer believe a debtor’s verbal promise to pay and many couples have ample reason to doubt the word of his or her partner. TOO few do what they say they will do without a reminder, a warning, or a threat. Unfortunately, this is true across the board!!

It should be of no surprise that Scripture speaks to keeping one’s word.

When a man makes a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to put himself under an obligation, he must not break his word; he must do whatever he has promise. (Numbers 30:2)

Lord, who can dwell in Your tent? Who can live on Your holy mountain? The one who lives honestly, practices righteousness, and acknowledges the truth in his heart, who does not slander with his tongue, who does not harm his friend or discredit his neighbor, who despises the one rejected by the Lord but honors those who fear the Lord who keeps his word whatever the cost. (Psalms 15:1-4)

Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. (Ephesians 4:25)

And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

  • Questions to ponder: As to keeping your word?
  • Are you bridging or widening the credibility gap?
  • When you reply, “Yes, I will pray for you” ….do you?
  • When you tell someone they can depend on you to help them out …can they?
  • When you say you’ll be there at such and such time …are you?
  • When you obligate yourself to pay a debt on time …do you?
  • When you pay your taxes in April …are you honest?

Granted, no one is perfect. But when you fail do you own up to it? Do you quickly admit your failures to the person you promised and refuse to rationalize? If so …you’re a person of genuine integrity and in a position to encourage others to do the same.

Only one person in the history of mankind has always kept His promises… that person is the person of Jesus Christ… He never broke a promise and with Him there is no credibility gap. And you know what? He said HE will return. Give it some thought… are ready to meet Him?

– Article contributed by Tim Chastain, Director of Men’s Teams/MMi for the Master’s Men ministry.