“If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin.” ~Deuteronomy 23:21
There is an old adage, true to its basis, which says:
While this meme could have been smaller and taken up less space…these few words truly fill that space. It use to be that when someone spoke and made a promise, gave an oath, or made a vow…you needed no more. You did not need a bond security, nor any contract to make the other person do what he said he would do! Your name and your word speak much about you before you ever arrive at any meeting or appointment. Your reputation precedes you in every instance. Both the good & bad…whatever you have made of it.
Now-a-days, we are steeped in a litigious society because everyone is sue happy. Everyone wants the almighty dollar without actually having to work for it. Instead, they seek the help of a morally flexible legal expert who, like you, believes you deserve to get paid because someone made you feel bad by pronouncing you a man when you actually feel like a woman inside, or vice versa, or some other politically incorrect crime against mankind.
Put simply integrity is…
Regardless, if anyone is there to watch you, or not, should not matter to YOU. You know God is watching and your fulfilling your vow, promise, oath, or word is quite irrelevant for YOU know in your heart of hearts that God will bring to light every matter, including every secret thing…both good and bad!
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil. ~Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NKJV
The funny thing is the fact that God leaves us to make all our mistakes and decisions on our own. He provided us with life’s user manual, via numerous authors all in one binding…the Holy Bible. It is not something you can master in a day, but it takes a lifetime worth of hard work in order to learn that you didn’t understand, apply, or even recognize something, or several things for that matter!
God desires each one of us to believe, follow, learn, and eventually understand His word. He desires us to apply the teachings within our lives and when we trip and fall by doing things our own way; He wants us to pick ourselves up, dust off our knees, swallow our pride, seek His way and apply it for the rest of the journey through our life. God knows that we will trip, fall, walk away, and many of us will tend to return. Unfortunately, not all of us will return to Him, but many will of their own volition. Because God is the God of second chances, this was paramount throughout many of the writings of the Bible.
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time… ~Jonah 3:1 NKJV
Jonah was God’s prophet and minister, he was a wayward prophet who wanted to see the Ninevites judged by God and destroyed. But that was not what God wanted, God desired them to change their ways and follow Him (by their own decision.) But the Ninevites needed to receive a warning and that task fell to Jonah. Jonah was both obstinate and wanted his way. That was where the big fish came in. Apparently, this was a miraculous work of God that was to turn the wayward prophet around. Wouldn’t you? God is willing to give us all the chances we need to turn our lives around. Even if it is on our deathbed. But there is a catch…to change your heart you must still be breathing and alive.
God gives each of us one human life to turn around our lives. All too many think they can wait until that last moment, but when that final moment comes especially after a lifetime of not thinking about God and seeking self aggrandizement and pleasure…will you truly place any effort on during your final moment(s) toward your creator? My personal hypothesis is that you will not, under the same circumstances…neither would I. I would tend to think I would be thinking of all I missed out on.
While this was a long drawn out path to get to this point, the ultimate message is that we need to keep the promises, vows, oaths, and words we give to others (including to God.) Because in the very end we will be remembered by others of how we treated people.
These two memes pretty much state what is needed here. Keeping your word is much like standing for what is right, because if you do not stand up for what is right…there might not be anyone else to stand up against those who oppose that which is right! YOU MAY BE IT!
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD