Christian Counseling - Vows: A Sign Of Integrity

How often has someone said they would do or not do something for you, but never followed through? All of us have been hurt and frustrated by the unmet commitments of others. What is anger provoking are those deceptive people who never really intended to keep their word, but paid only lip service. These experiences impact future relationships and our sense of peace and security in the world.

People become distrustful of others who break their promises. They begin to think of them as unreliable and undependable. They contemplate how they can protect themselves from being let down and disappointed, perhaps through maintaining surface relationships, but this creates isolation and loneliness. This isn't a small issue.

Some who violate their promises and vows don't think its a big deal. "I'll call you tomorrow!" says a friend or business acquaintance. It's a big deal to the receiver of a promise who is looking forward to that phone call or developing the relationship. It's a big deal to the one who loaned someone their possessions. Sure, we all forget on occasion, but the regular offender of broken promises is different. We all desire trustworthy relationships and learn to weed out those who freely make promises and fail to keep them.

How important are promises or vows to God? Incredibly important. We will give an account for every word that proceeds out of our mouths. Ecclesiastes 5:3,4 says, "When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it, for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay." Matthew 25:21 records through the parable of the talents one of the ways in which God evaluates our faithfulness. If we are faithful in a few things, or with little things, he concludes we will be faithful in many things or with the big ones. According to our handling of these, so goes his rewards.

To those who make vows. Don't take lightly even a small and simple one. The importance of them is not determined by the giver, but the receiver. The keeping of the least of vows reflects on one's reputation and reveals one's integrity, or lack of it. Let all the words from your mouth be acceptable to God (Psalm 19:14).

To those who receive promises. Don't casually dismiss them, as if they don't matter. They do matter. Work it out with the offender. Remember, a true friend is willing to wound (but not harm) another (Proverbs 27:6). We may wound others with the truth of our well chosen words, but we harm them and our relationship when we fail to address existent problems, such as broken trust.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Anonymous wrote:
Thank you - I sent this to my husband today.

06/12/2010 @ 2:06 PM

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