When we make promises, whether to a friend or a resolution to ourselves, it’s best to keep this rule in mind, make sure it’s "keepable" before the promise is made. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
Dr. Seuss, in "Horton Hatches an Egg," tells the story of an elephant, named Horton, who promises to sit on an egg and hatch it for it's mother, lazy Miss Mayzie. Horton made a decision early on to tackle a difficult task, one that almost any other elephant would most likely pass on. Nevertheless, as the days and weeks go by, Horton just keeps sitting there on that nest up in a tree. No doubt he may have regretted the idea of an elephant sitting in a tree, but a promise is a promise. All his friends encourage him to forget his promise and play with them. Do you remember his response? "I meant what I said, I said what I meant. An elephant is faithful, 100%."
When you and I make promises, whether that is a promise to a friend or a resolution to ourselves, it is best to keep this little rule in mind, make sure that it is "keepable" before the promise is made. And, once you have determined that it is, don't add anything to it or take anything from it. Fortifying the promise with an oath or foreswearing is not necessary when you have determined from the beginning that the promise is "keepable" in the first place.
Here's a story: A wealthy businessman lay on his deathbed. His preacher came to visit and talked about God's healing power and prayed for his parishioner. When the preacher was done, the businessman said, "Preacher, if God heals me, I'll give the church a million dollars." Miraculously, the businessman got better and within a few short weeks was out of the hospital. Several months later, the preacher bumped into this businessman on the sidewalk and said, "You know, when you were in the hospital dying, you promised to give the church a million dollars if you got well. We haven't received it as of yet." The businessman replied, "Did I say that? I guess that goes to show how sick I really was!" (Source unknown.)
As Christians we ought never to make a New Year's vow without intending to keep it. Vowing to do something if God does something for us is pretty serious business. That's why the Bible warns against making promises that we can't or aren't likely to keep when it says: "If a person thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil–or in any matter one might carelessly swear about–even though he is unaware of it, in any case when God learns of it he will be guilty." God will hold us guilty, bound by any oath that we might make, should we refuse or fail to follow through on what we promise. Yet, God does not want us to be timid or fearful of making promises. For that matter, He isn't even concerned about promises we make that others might find difficult to keep. God is looking for Christians that mean what they say, and say what they mean. In the New Year to come and always, "a Christian is faithful, 100%".
We pray. Heavenly Father, It is always a good thing to change and New Years give us that added opportunity of focusing on the things in life that need changing. Lord, we are so often so busy that we just aren’t able to focus on what needs to be changed. Please help us to simplify our lives so that we can find the space we need to think about changing and then provide us the opportunity to make those changes. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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