How many people do you know will say that they will do this or that for someone else but never actually do it? They may come up with some excuse as to why they did not do the thing they said they would do, but unless they are hindered by sickness or some emergency, these excuses do not hold up. As Christians, we need to do what we have promised others we would do, no matter how convenient or inconvenient it may seem.
As Christians, we are held to a higher standard than the rest of the world, because we are not to be like the world. We are to be keepers of our word no matter what. For example, if someone asks you to fix his car, and you say that you will do this, then you must fulfill your promise. You cannot come up with some excuse whenever the subject gets brought up, just because you no longer wish to do what you said you would do. This is dishonest, and goes against what is commonly known as the “Golden Rule. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12). When we are tempted to not do something that we have told someone else we would do, we need to reflect on Matthew 7:12 and think about the situation in terms of would we want the same thing done to us? For instance, if you told your friend that you would go to his child’s school program, but the program is scheduled to take place at the same time that your favorite ball team is to play on television, it would be beneficial to think about what you would want someone to do for you in a similar situation. Would you want your friend to skip your child’s program that you specifically asked him or her to attend in order to watch a ballgame? Probably not!
Also, we should mean what we say. James 5:12 says, “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” This verse means that we should not say one thing to someone and then change our minds later. Of course, if we become unable to fulfill our promise due to sickness or some emergency, then God understands. However, it is best to ask the person’s permission to be excused from keeping our word before not doing it. Once again, this goes back to the “golden rule” where we have to treat others like we want to be treated.
Keeping our word to others and doing what we say we are going to do helps others to trust and depend on us. If we back out on other people for no good reason, then we are not trustworthy, and that goes against God’s command to be honest in all things. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10). Our goal as Christians is to be as much like our Heavenly Father as we possibly can, and God is always Honest! “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19) We should always work to be shining lights to the world, and not be like those who are following the world instead of God! “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).