November 18, 2006

Keeping Our Promises

Matthew 5:33-37

"Let your ?Yes' be ?Yes,' and your ?No,' ?No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." Matthew 5:37


My grandfather worked as a butcher. As a child, I remember him going to the market to buy cattle. In the process of making a deal, the buyer would hold out his hand, and the seller would name a price and hit the buyer's hand. They would continue to do this until they agreed on a final price and sealed the deal with a final handclap. No documents were signed or exchanged. A handshake sealed the agreement.

Think of some of the promises you have made.

Some years ago our six-year-old son saw the marriage of a friend's parents dissolve. This made him wonder about his own parents' marriage. With a worried expression on his face, he asked his mom and I if we were going to leave each other or get a divorce. We assured him that he did not have to worry. We had made a vow before God, and we intended to keep it, believing that God would always help us do that.

Sometime later he gave us a little figurine of a boy and a girl holding hands, with this inscription: "Me and you, you and me, that's the way it'll always be." The figurine has been in our bedroom ever since.

Promises should never be made lightly. That's why the Bible says, "When a man makes a vow to the LORD ... he must not break his word but must do everything he said" (Numbers 30:2).

Thank you, heavenly Father, for always keeping your promises. Help us to keep our word so that we can be faithful like you and people can count on us. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Jerry Hoytema

Pastor Jerry Hoytema is a retired minister living in Ontario. In his retirement he has served several churches as an interim pastor. He and his wife, Winnie, have four children and 13 grandchildren.

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