“It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.” – Ecclesiastes 5:5 (NLT)
We all want to be people who keep their word. We all want to be people who possess basic honesty, integrity, people who don’t just talk a good game but are striving to be dependable and trustworthy. Keeping our word is foundational to relationships, to community and to the Home Run Life.
What is it about keeping our word that is so difficult for people? So many people are finding it a challenge to be where they say they will be and do what they say they will do. Some look for loopholes, when fulfilling their word means having to give of their time, energy or resources. At times, our attitude is that if we can possibly get out of it, we will look for a way to do so. What if God took the same approach in His relationship with us? What if His promises were conditional and He fulfilled His word only when He felt like it. Fortunately, God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and He keeps His promises. But here is the reality for us who are followers of Jesus. People are always watching to see if your actions match your words. We all want to be people who keep our promises.
Imagine what life would be without people who keep their word and their promises. Imagine if you went to buy a new car, only to discover several months later that the salesman had lied about the car’s mechanical history. Imagine if you went to buy a new home only to discover that the realtor mislead you about how many repairs the home really needed. Imagine if you entrusted your kids to a school bus driver who was covering up a terrible driving record? The Bible gives us examples of people who kept their word.
One of them was Moses. God calls Moses a trustworthy or faithful person. “But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house.” (Numbers 12: 7). Whenever God told Moses to do something, Moses did it immediately. Trustworthy people receive instructions, carry them out immediately, and do it well, to the best of their ability.
When trustworthy people say they will do something, they usually do it. They do not overbook, or over extend themselves. Nor do they give up easily. Many people have every intention of living up to their obligation until the first obstacle appears. When that happens they give up and make up an excuse for not keeping their word. This is true of Christians as well. If God gives us something to do, are we easily sidetracked or stalled? How do you deal with obstacles when you are given a task to accomplish?
God wants us to be trustworthy. So do the people we are in relationships with. So, if we make a promise to be at our kid’s ballgame, we ought to be true to our word. If we sign a contract at work, or give a customer our word, or make a business deal, or make a promise to a coworker, we need to keep our word. If we sign up for a ministry or responsibility or make a pledge to the church, it makes sense that we should follow through on it until our obligation is fulfilled no matter how small.
- What do you do when you give your word? Do you go out of your way to fulfill your promises, or do you look for a way out?
- Does your life demonstrate that you count God’s Word to be wholly trustworthy? If not, why not?
- Would your clients testify in court that you are trustworthy in all your business dealings? Would your family testify in court that you are trustworthy in all your relationships?
- What do you need to work on most in becoming more trustworthy in word and in deed?
- What one area can you do a better job of keeping your word? Pray and ask God for the ability to keep your word in that area in the coming months.