“Not one word has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.”
- A promise is defined as an express assurance on which expectation is to be based. I believe the most important part of this definition is “on which expectation is based”. A person’s expectation is changed and focused on what is promised. Our expectations and anticipation of what is to come are filled with hope and excitement. To break a promise intentionally or carelessly is to break someone’s hope. Whenever possible, you must follow through.
- There are so many promises in the Bible that God has promised us and not one of them has failed to happen, just like each one of the prophecies in the Bible have happened at their due time. This doesn’t mean that once you are a believer nothing bad happens to you. In fact, He also promised us that we will have trouble, but that He has overcome the world. We can completely believe everything God says in His Word to us (or as Lecrae says in “Praying For You” – the 66 book love letter (He) wrote).
- Human promises, however, are not even something that can be believed most of the time. Just watch or read anything by any politician. So many promises are made in deception, in a way to manipulate someone or to take the pressure off the person making the promise at a certain point and time – to placate the person causing them distress or to feel guilty so they can escape the moment. Other times promises are made with good intentions but circumstances kept it from happening. Then there are a few that are made with the person knowing they can follow through and they actually deliver what they promise.
- It is so important to be true to your word and when you say you’ll do something, you do it. To not do so brings pain, hurt and distrust. Just today, I had a lunch with a friend who was so hurt because someone close to her had continuously told her something they would do and then would renege or change the terms of what they originally offered. In this case, the person did follow through some with what they promised, but even then they still didn’t give her what they had promised. The pain was evident on her face and in her voice. It was hard to witness.
- I rarely make promises because life has taught me that I never know what is coming or what will happen at any minute. I say I’ll be places and help with certain projects and my word means something because I follow through. However, there are times I’ve had to back out in helping or not been able to make it somewhere because something urgent has come up or a child gets sick. There have been a couple of times I’ve missed an appointment because I plain forgot, it fell off my calendar or I had the wrong time. Each of those times they called me. Because I’ve been trustworthy I was not charged for those missed times, but rescheduled instead.
- When you say you’ll do things on a regular basis and don’t do them, the disappointment often happens at the moment the promise is made. For the last couple of years of my husband’s life, he would tell me we would do something at a certain time and rarely followed through. At first, I told the boys what he had said, they would get excited and then very upset when it didn’t happen. After the awhile, I barely responded to what he said after that and never told the boys. If he actually did it, it was always a surprise for all of us.
- I believe sometimes people make promises so they can see the hope and happiness on the faces of those round them. There is an immediate payoff when we promise something the other person would like, But it’s not worth the pain and distrust that come from not following through. There is another quote that fits this: “Promises mean everything, but after they are broken, sorry means nothing”. I don’t quite agree with the first part, but the second part is so true. The more times you break your word, the less likely it will be for someone to believe you are really sorry. That’s never a place you want to be.
~ Joanna Lynn
(This is written in response to The Daily Post prompt “promises”.)