Pinky promises are a big deal. Just ask any kid under the age of 13.
My parents raised me to keep my word and to trust other peoples’ word on things. Maybe a little too much. My friends will tell you that I’ll believe anything. (You say gullible, I say trusting.) 🙂 Being a counselor, I sometimes have to call peoples’ bluff, but I hate to do it.
The word has somethings to say about how we do or don’t keep our word.
James says to “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” That way your language won’t be used against you as it could if you made big promises.
Eugene Peterson puts Jesus’ words on this topic in Matthew 5 this way… “Don’t say anything you don’t mean. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.”
See, our nature of “bearing false witness” shows itself when we feel like we have to add so much emphasis and promise to our words. “All in” and “For sure!” don’t always mean someone is so sure that they’re all invested.
This also shows up when we suspect falsehood in others. Just as making big promises brings the suspicion that we don’t mean to follow through, so we suspect in others.
We’d so hope that the love of the truth in the hearts of those who follow Jesus would show plainly that their simple “yes” and “no” are enough. Our word should be sufficient. Too often, straight answers are hard to come by. Couching something in “christianese” doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. It just makes it more insulting than an honest “yes” or “no”.
Resolute: res·o·lute ˈrezəˌlo͞ot/
adjective: purposeful, determined, and unwavering.
synonyms: tenacious, unshakable, steadfast
I resolve not to be a “yes woman”. I resolve to be careful with my promises and to try not to manipulate with my words. I resolve to honor people with what I agree to and to offer the truth even when the answer is “no”. I resolve to love with my words and to keep believing the words of others. I resolve to keep promises and to not make the ones I cannot. I resolve to offer grace and forgiveness when promises fall through. I resolve because He is my resolve this year and always. And He is faithful!
Know that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His promises and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.
:: Deuteronomy 7:9 ::
I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse!
The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True…
:: Revelation 19:11 ::