On making promises

Pennireef Papers

On making promises

Making promises is the easiest thing in the world – keeping them is another matter. We hear the “promises” of political and other leaders and take hope. We want to believe the best about our chosen helmsman. A clever leader knows what the people want to hear and tailors his promises accordingly, even if he has no intention of keeping them. Such is an evil and deceptive leader.

Farther down the food-chain any person in a position of management can make promises. His position of leadership often comes with a generous credit-rating based on the long standing and well established track record of his predecessor’s integrity.

Making promises can be and frequently is a pride thing: “Hello, I’m Mr. Big and I’ll do this or that for you” – so the people look to you and not to the Lord to provide their legitimate needs. And if you forget, or run out of time, or lack the resources and fail to fulfill your promise, people are bitterly disappointed in you and, even more tragically, disappointed in the God of whom you preach.

The promise is like writing a check. This will impress the naïve who accept the check at face value based on the perceived credibility of Mr. Big. The problem comes when the check is deposited (with a reasonable expectation that the funds are there) and the bank
refuses it for reasons of insufficient funds.

Don’t let your check bounce. It’s better to never make a promise, than to make one and not keep it. If you do make a promise, make it your first priority to fulfill it. Your integrity is on the line. To have a reputation of not making good on promises is a great disadvantage. People lose confidence in you and your devalued “word” eventually becomes worthless.

Unfulfilled promises are tantamount to lying. How else can we define a situation where you tell someone you will do something and then without any explanation fail to do it? Remember the son in the Bible who said to his father, “I will,” but didn’t and how our Lord contrasted him with his brother who said, “I won’t,” but actually did. Jesus taught that “tax collectors and harlots would enter the kingdom of God” before those who do not keep their promise. Matthew 21:28-31 Keeping your word is very serious business.

Bill Bathman – 18 Sept, 2009 – Mesa, Arizona

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