Am I the only one who thinks people shouldn’t say a word if they don’t plan to follow through? It is a smear upon personal integrity to commit oneself in speech, when one is not committed to the corresponding action.
The environment in which I grew up had a marked distinction between empty words and a promise. When someone said something to you and you really wanted to be sure they would do it, you’d say, “Promise me.” And if they were not 100-percent certain they would do it, they would not give a promise.
Even as kids, we watched out for one another’s words. Of course, we took it to a whole new level. You didn’t have to say, “I promise.” As long as you said it, you had to do it, and you were not allowed to change your mind. If we were choosing colors for instance, and I said, “Green is my favorite” and then two minutes later I said, “No, yellow is my favorite,” all the kids would start chanting, “First words first!” It could get annoying, but tomorrow, I’d be the one chanting, “First words first” at another kid, so today I’d bear it as nicely as possible.
However, as I grew older, the world around me changed — and not for the better. People started to take advantage of the trust others had in their words and would make promises they had no intentions of keeping, only to adjourn the disappointment to a date in the future. And well-meaning people would utter promises to make the recipient happy in the moment, but would fall through eventually and hurt the person who anticipated the fulfillment of the promise. “I promise” became banal by overuse and has now become yet another empty phrase.
We have become distrustful of other people’s words, and somehow, we have transferred that thought to think God is not to be trusted. We may not dare to say it out loud, but the way we respond to His promises speaks louder than anything we could ever say. In our attempt to shield ourselves from potential disappointment, we don’t believe altogether.
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19, ESV).
God is not a man. GOD is not a man. God is NOT a man. God is not a MAN. GOD IS NOT A MAN.
Make a song out of this, and sing it to yourself when you are tempted to fall into unbelief. God is not human. He is not any of the people who have made promises to you and failed. He is not one of those who makes promises with good intentions but does not have the ability to make them happen. And He does not make empty promises.
Every word of God is spirit and life (John 6:63), and consequently each one of His words contains in it the ability to make itself happen. It is alive and full of the Spirit! In the exact words of Jesus, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
When God speaks, it is not that He is going to make something happen. It is that He has already made it happen, and He is looking at it from the finish line while you’re still running the marathon. Keep running! It’s OK to get tired, stop for water, cry on the road, think you don’t know where you’re going. But after all is said and done, pick yourself up and keep running because the designer and sole sponsor of the race said you already won! Believe Him, and you will surely see it with your own eyes.
Blessing Monday is a writer, student and entrepreneur who loves to share her musings with any and everyone.
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