As Christians we ought never to make a vow without intending to keep it. Vowing to do something if God does some- thing for us is pretty serious business. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
Dr. Suess’s “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 vow without intending to keep it. Vowing to do something if God does some- thing for us is pretty serious business. Putting our name on a promissory note to God isn’t something that we ought to do lightly. Making rash promises can only get us into trouble. That is why the Bible warns against making promises that we can’t or aren’t likely to keep. “Or if a person thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil--in any matter one might carelessly swear about--even though he is unaware of it, in any case when he 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. A Christian is faithful, 100%.
We pray. Heavenly Father, sometimes we intend to keep a promise but, seeing how difficult it is, we rationalize and tell ourselves that it wasn’t keepable in the first place. Remind us Father that when we make promises, as your dear son or daughter, it reflects on you and your glory, not just ours. Some promises are difficult, if not painful, to keep. Fortify us through prayer and the Word to find the strength and the will to keep even these difficult promises. We want to be faithful 100%. 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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