Have you ever broken a promise? I am sure everyone has some time or other reneged on a verbal, written, or thought initiated pledge. When we do break a promise, we justify it by blaming it on circumstances that are beyond our control. REALLY?! Many promises are made with the resolve that our pledge will be kept no matter what challenges should arise. Why do we make promises? One of the reasons is to try and discipline areas in our lives that have caused us to have behavioral inconsistencies. For example, overeating causes bodily expansion that is evidenced by “shrinking” clothes. So we promise to lose weight and eat right in order to lose those extra pounds. REALLY?! The internet captivates our priority list and countless hours are spent reading and writing things we believe are of interest to the reader. So we promise to limit our internet participation to 30 minutes a day. REALLY?! Television viewing has challenged our interaction with the Bible. So we promise that for every hour of TV watching we will spend equal time in the Word. REALLY?! The list could go on and on.
What we are trying to do is place a “stop gap” in the way of our undisciplined lives. So we make promises with the hopeful expectations that we can stop the “runaway train” from negatively influencing our lives. The intent is sincere, yet many times the goal is never achieved. One of the reasons we fail to keep our promises is that there is no consequence to our failed attempts. REALLY?!
We may go for a few days or even a week with enthusiastic determination, but then the temptations and assaults against our promised intentions are released. Sadly, many times the result of these challenges leads to the highway of broken promises. Satan sees the opening and launches another barrage of “fiery arrows.” He challenges our Faith and integrity. He minimizes our spiritual stamina. If we are weak in the faith, we will probably buy what he is selling. If our faith is of an average degree, we will be disappointed at our lack of stamina, but will shrug it off and continue with our lives.
To those who are having a hard time dealing with broken promises, I would recommend a “retake” of the proposed promise, a “do over” if you prefer. So you failed at removing that “thorn in the flesh.” What is preventing you from making another attempt? Learn from your failures. What were the causes of those broken promises? Maybe the next time you will have the confidence to see the fulfillment of your promises. REALLY!
Making promises is an attempt to deal with fleshly weaknesses. I believe it is as unnecessary as making New Year’s resolutions, which fail 90% of the time. To avoid making mundane promises, let us learn through the Scriptures a simple two-step approach to dealing with spiritual inconsistencies. 1: “Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Colossians 3:17) 2: “And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…” (Colossians 3:23) If we will live according to these words, all those undisciplined areas in our lives will give way to a life centered around our Lord instead of ourselves. I guess the choice is up to us. We can either make and remake promises, or we can live our lives around Jesus who promised never to leave us. (Hebrews 13:5) REALLY!