LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? ….He who swears to his own hurt and does not change. Ps 15:1,3
A person who swears to his own hurt and does not change stands in very high esteem in my eyes. And that’s a shame, because every person should be this way.
What does it mean to swear to your own hurt and not change? It means that you do what you say you are going to do even if it means that it turns out bad for you. It means your are going to follow through on a deal that you have sealed with your mouth, even if you come to know it is going to turn to your disadvantage in someway. It means that people can take your promises to the bank, because they know you are good for what you say.
To be this kind of person you obviously need to ditch lying. But even if you don’t lie, you might be the kind of person that always forgets, or changes their mind. You’ve got to stop. You are not pleasing God, and you are developing a terrible reputation.
God holds you responsible for what you say whether you forget it or not. Jesus said that every idle word is taken into account. You need to learn to remember. God has given us great tools to help us to remember things so we have no excuse. Even if you can’t afford a fancy electric planner, you could always simply carry a cheap, small notebook in your pocket and write down everything you say you are going to do.
Now, of course, there are exceptions. We live in a fallen world and we have a very limited view of what the future holds. Sometimes we tell people we are going to do something and then we get sick, or in a fender bender, or some emergency comes up. This is understandable. And even if it is not an emergency and if you do this only very rarely, it is okay to ask to be excused from your promise. But if you do, you should find a replacement (if possible) and be willing to allow them to hold you to that promise. I’ve held people to their promise before.
I use the word ‘promise,’ but, in reality, we should never have to use the word ‘promise.’ If you say something out of your mouth it should automacticly be your promise. Jesus said to not swear, but to let our yes be yes and our no be no. If you have to say, “I swear! I promise!,” then this shows me that you normally don’t do what you say and it takes extra convincing to get someone to believe you are going to do what you say you are going to do.
Let us be know as people who do what we say we are going to do. Isn’t this what you expect of others? You need to do it yourself.