Just telling enough of the truth to get by was one of those not so outstanding characteristics of childhood that most of us mastered pretty well. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
Have you ever heard these common promises?
“It’s fully guaranteed!”
“I put the check in the mail this morning.”
“This brief survey will only take about two minutes--really!”
“Sorry, but your order will be up in just a few minutes.”
“Elect me and I promise . . . !”
Getting at the truth seems so rare these days that, without some sort of conciliatory promise at the end of a statement, people are not comfortable believing anything. Whatever happened to just plain “yes” and “no?”
Here’s a story. A bus load of politicians was headed to a convention. But, because of highway construction, they had to take a detour down a rural road. The driver was having problems with this winding, country lane and lost control of the bus. It ran off the road and crashed into a tree in an old farmer’s field. The old farmer was driving to town when he noticed that that there was a gaping hole in his fence. He went to investigate and saw what had happened. He went back to his truck, got a shovel, and buried all the politicians. Since the politicians never arrived at their destination, a state trooper was dis- patched to locate them. He backtracked their route, followed the country road, saw the wrecked bus in the field, and looked up the old farmer that owned the property. The trooper asked the farmer where the politicians had gone. The farmer informed the trooper that he’d buried all of them. The trooper said, “Didn’t you call the coroner? After all, not all of them might have been dead.” The old farmer replied, “Well, some of them kept sayin’ they weren’t but you know how them politicians lie!” (Source Unknown)
“Cross my heart and hope to die!” That schoolboy oath was pretty well known to us as children. We were so intent on having someone believe us that we added an oath, an unnecessary promise at the end of our word. Before long it became a habit and we didn’t make any promises without adding the oath. Soon the oath became more important than the prom- ise. When we strive to tell the truth all of the time, our word should be sufficient for the moment and oaths never neces- sary. But, when we develop a habit of fudging the truth, even when we tell it, others may find it difficult to believe. The best way to keep a promise is to be completely truthful about your intentions in the first place. Start today by reintroduc- ing “yes” and “no” into your vocabulary. It helps when you’re trying to avoid being buried alive by your own words.
We pray. Heavenly Father, oaths are a scary thing and we know it. Nevertheless, we often make promises that we are asking others to rely on based on their knowledge of who and what we are and fail to deliver the product of that promise. These are oaths that you have warned us not to make. Help us to understand Lord that if we even have the least of doubts that our promise might not be kept, we ought never to give it to someone else, even when it involves the best of our intentions. Let us stick to “yes” and “no.” Forgive us for our pride in making promises we can’t keep. 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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