PROVERBS 20 – 7/16/21
It is a trap to dedicate something rashly
and only later to consider one’s vows.
I received a package in the mail that came with dry ice. My boys and I had a grand time doing fun experiments with it and stashed a bunch in the freezer to show dad some cool stuff when he got home. When we went to retrieve it, the bag was empty. Where did it go? It was right here. “Did you take it?” No. “Did you?” No. It’s just a sciencey thing that happens with dry ice.
In the heat of the moment, we experience strong emotions that powerfully impact our decisions. Vows are made. We fully intend to keep them, no matter what. Not long after, the emotions wane and the dust clears. We see things differently and may question how and why we said that. Often, we allow forgetfulness to wash the whole thing away and continue with life like it never mind. Every once in a while it may come back to mind but we pay it no heed. The strong resolve we had when we made the decision is like dry ice. It is impressively stalwart in the moment then it evaporates into thin air.
We undermine what a significant matter the making of vows is to the Lord. He is faithful and expects us to be faithful. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit. Scripture has much to say about it.
- Fulfill your vow as quickly as possible. Time is the test of vows. It can also be the enemy of vows. Like dry ice that starts to evaporate as soon as it is exposed to air, once we leave the moment of making the vow, our resolve starts to turn to vapor.
When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it, because He takes no pleasure in fools. Fulfill your vow.
2. Being a promise-keeper is one of the traits of a person that get to enjoy God’s presence. Know that every vow costs you. Some cost more than others. Don’t jettison your vow just because it is no longer expedient for you.
“O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy mountain? The one … who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind;
Psalm 15:1, 4.
3. God does not expect you to make vows. He completely takes that burden off your shoulders and relieves you of any pressure. Just don’t make the vow. He is not impressed with vows that aren’t followed by action.
Do not be quick to speak, and do not be hasty in your heart to utter a word before God. After all, God is in heaven and you are on earth. So let your words be few...It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.
Ecclesiastes 5:2, 5
3. If you remember a vow you’ve broken – big or small – repent of it. Revisit the matter with your God and seek to make it right. Repent of the failure and ask his forgiveness. If you can fulfill it, do so promptly. If it is too late, make amends if you can. Learn your lesson and desist from the propensity to make promises you don’t keep.
4. Do you regularly break promises? Search your soul and explore why you make promises in the first place. Is it to people-please? Is it to manipulate? Is it to look good? Allow Holy Spirit to shine a light in your heart in this matter. It is important. He desires to break the snare you walked into. This habit can rob you of peace and mar your reputation. It impacts your relationships with God and other people, and may cost you other valuable things.
A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
Moving forward, ask for his help in desisting from making promises. Keep your mouth shut. Practice unapologetically saying “no, thank you.”
“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.Matthew 5:33-37
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