Songs Of The Week
Song: Agnus Dei (Worthy Is The Lamb) – Brooke Ligertwood of Hillsong
The Potential of a Promise
A principled person keeps their promises. It’s just who they are. They don’t go back on their words and they don’t make empty promises.
Jesus always kept His word. Though he made what were seemingly impossible promises, He still delivered.
Take a look at the promise Jesus made with the centurion. Jesus said, “Go, for your servant is healed.”
When Jesus told him to go back because “your servant is healed”, his servant was healed. He only said things with absolute certainty. But this certainty doesn’t stem from His mortality, it stems from God’s abilities.
When we make promises with people, certainty from yourself may come from a place of experience and human wisdom. But, sometimes, being too confident in yourself makes your promises rooted in delusion.
There’ll come a point of time where the fruits of one’s delusional promises are harvested as broken trusts and disappointments.
Promises with Others
So how can we avoid bad fruit? Some say we should just stop making promises all together because of the belief that everything is temporal and there are no lasting impacts.
I disagree with them, though. It’s exactly because of the ephemeral nature of life that we should dive deep lest we regret never having lived. It’s better for someone to have walked through a thousand valleys than to have never moved at all. The awareness of the brevity of life may take awhile to settle in someone but it’s as true as the sun.
So, when we make promises, they should be made on the basis of the supernatural certainty we all share: we will die and meet with God at the end of our mortal lives.
Therefore, we should do as Paul the Apostle has said in 2 Timothy 4:7:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
– 2 Timothy 4:7 New International Version
We need to keep the end in mind. Our prayers should be based on the knowledge that there is a ‘right-here’ God; He who knows us and sees us. In simpler terms, our promises should be built on God’s character and our common destiny.
What’s more is that promises shouldn’t be a specific guarantee, just like how we shouldn’t pray.
I promise that God will make a way for you because I know He has a plan for your life.
When we make promises with another person, we shouldn’t promise them something that is out of our control and impossible.
Say you promise your significant other to buy a house together by the age of 30. It’s a very noble promise, I must admit, but it isn’t something that is guaranteed. There are a thousand and one things that could go wrong; things that stand in the way of this dream. What happens when you’re 28 but still barely halfway there? Everyday will feel like your blood is boiling; your heart is racing with anxiety; your hair like it’s falling off.
The promise should be something like this: I promise to do my best to…
And then do your best! Put your heart and soul into whatever you promsied to do.
They should be actionable promises that can be broken down into steps. Be clear to them about the circumstances, and show them that you’ll do everything in your power for it to come to pass.
Promises with Yourself
But sometimes, it’s the promises we make to ourselves that make us stressed out.
See, most of the time, we set ourselves up for anxiety. It is our own spoken mistakes that trap us in a state of perpetual stress.
What if I can’t buy a house?
What if I can’t afford a Tesla?
What if my child doesn’t graduate as a Harvard grad?
But this isn’t the life we were called to live.
“Surely God is my help;
the Lord is the one who sustains me.”
– Psalms 54:4 New International Version
It is by grace we live. And, therefore, we need to make the lenient promises with ourselves. Not that these promises should be flimsy and easy breakable, but they should be kind on yourself.
Promises Between You and God
The most important types of promises of all.
When you make a promise to God, speak it out that you will do your best but know that it is at the mercy of His will.
A more sustainable promise to God is one that isn’t guaranteed. This may sound paradoxical to you. You might wonder wouldn’t it make more sense to “declare in faith”?
You should have faith, but not be blind. Have faith for miracles but don’t be blinded by rage and saddness when things don’t go your way.
Sometimes, when we place a ‘guarantee’ on our promises, we start to base our faith on whether or not our promises come to pass. If they do, then our faith gets stronger. And if they don’t, then our faith gets wavered.
Promises to God aren’t meant to be stressful. They may be uncomfortable, but they’re supposed to help your grow. God wants the best for you. He wants you to be a better you than you were yesterday. He wants us to be free from the prison of our minds the world has so effectively locked us in.
Our promises with God are meant to liberate us to a better life, one that he has called us to.
Therefore, make the right promises. Promises that allow God to grow and sculpt you.
God bless you and have a great week!