Have you ever broken a promise? Of course, you have. We all have. We break promises for a variety of reasons.
Sometimes a promise, made in good faith with every good intention, is broken because unexpected circumstances prevent the keeping of it.
Some promises are broken, simply because the person making it changed his mind.
Others promises are broken, because, the person who promised simply lied. He had no intention, from the beginning, of keeping his word.
Early in our relationship, I asked Cecil to make me a promise.
I don’t remember now what it was about, but he laughingly refused. Only later did I learn that, from his childhood, He was taught he must never make a promise to anyone.
That teaching was based on Matthew 5:33 – 37 and James 5:12. Both references give the same admonition telling us that we must not swear at all. Those who influenced Cecil, interpreted this to mean that we must never make a promise at all, for we are incapable of keeping promises. Only God can do that.
Well, don’t you know, this caused a bit of an uproar before our wedding.
When I showed my sweetheart the wedding ceremony that my brother had written for us, Cecil said, “I can’t do that. I can’t make that vow!”
I was flabbergasted! “You can’t promise to love me, and cherish me, and be faithful to me,” I asked in astonishment?
“You know I will,” he said worriedly, “but I can’t say it that way.”
My creative brother found a way to rewrite that part of the ceremony to accommodate my worried groom. To my way of thinking, it was only a matter of semantics. I knew Cecil would do exactly as he said because he was a truthful man.
However, avoiding promises, because you might break them, is not the issue. The issue is one of truth because God witnesses every word we speak. When we lightly commit ourselves to something without any real guilt at our failure to follow through, we treat people unjustly and deceitfully no matter how trivial the promise. What if the broken promise is important enough to wreck havoc in life?
Years ago, I watched a segment of the Oprah Winfrey show. She prefaced her program by saying that America is in trouble because we have become a nation of liars. Earlier, she had provided a diary for certain people in her audience asking them to record each time they had lied during the previous week.
She began to question the audience asking, “How many times did you lie?”
“Thirteen,” came a reply.
“And you,” she asked?
“What about you?”
With each response, the roar of laughter increased until the audience was totally out of control. For some reason, it was hilarious, the fact that their friends and neighbors were liars.
If honesty prevailed among us; if we were not inconsistent and hypocritical, promises would never be necessary. A truly good person can live by the truth of his sayings and the reality of his actions. He need make no promises. His “yes” means “yes,” and his “no” means “no.”
So, you will agree with me that promises are often broken, and broken promises often do great harm. Perhaps someone has broken his promise to you. Maybe it was a wedding vow or a financial contract. You can put your broken promise in the blank. Whatever it was, it was life changing inflicting unbearable hurt upon you. Be encouraged today.
There is still one who always keeps His promises.
It is impossible to count the promises of God contained in the Bible, though some have tried. It has been estimated that there are between 3,000 and 8,000 promises, and, according to Romans 4:21, God has power to keep them all. Hebrews 10:23 says He will do just that.
In Numbers 23:19, we read, “God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?”
1 Kings 8:56 says, “…Not one word has failed of all the good promises He gave…”
2 Corinthians 1:20, “For no matter how many promises God has made they are YES in Christ.”
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these, He has given us His VERY GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
EVERYTHING THAT WE NEED TO HELP US LIVE A GODLY LIFE HAS BEEN PROMISED TO US.
NOW, THAT’S A BRILLIANT RAY OF SUNSHINE!