“Don’t make a promise you can’t keep.”
I’ve learned through this wilderness journey there is only One person who we can trust with the promise and covenant that we, well, at least I, do not deserve, yet it’s still given. Why in the world God promises me this, I will not understand. No wonder….
Don’t make a promise you can’t keep. I work hard to keep that thought in my mind whenever I talk to people. When I was a child I remember saying, “I promise,” people because I just wanted people to like me. At the same time, I wanted to do what I could for others, even though I knew it wasn’t possible. I apologize for making promises to those when I was a child. I was immature and irresponsible and only thinking about myself.
I know the impact it can have if you break a promise. It hurts. Just like the word
“friend,” the word “promise” is an important word to me and I don’t take it lightly. It may be more of a character flaw than a character asset, but it’s something I try to live by. Broken promises hurt and I’ve had that pain. Since I’ve grown up, I don’t make a promise, if I am not 100% sure I can fulfill it.
Maybe it’s an unreasonable expectation, but I have that same expectation for others that are close to me. If there is anything you do for me, please don’t make a promise and then break it. With that in mind, I make it a point to ask, “Are you sure?” Then I follow up with a smile and that phrase, “Don’t make a promise you can’t keep.”
I am thinking about all of this today because the word “promise” came up in painful ways recently. Someone broke a promise with me and it hurts. The trust that was instilled is gone. The walls are thicker than the earth now. Now, there is shame because I did it to someone else. What’s worse is what I realized the other day. I turned around and did it to another person. Another promise was broken and it was extremely painful. Why? I was the one that broke the promise.
Back before Christmas, I made a promise with an individual that I would come and visit as much as I could. My first visit was a part of the Twelve Days of Christmas that I experienced and blogged about before. This individual is currently in jail and I was doing what I could to be there and provide any support and prayer I could. On my last visit, I promised I would be there.
There was a complication with the paperwork and it took some time to get it cleared up. The proper officials said they would call to confirm that my clearance was approved. After several attempts on my part, I could not make contact with them to see if everything cleared. While all of this was happening, there was a lot going on in my private life, including broken promises made to me. With all that in mind, time got a way from me and I never checked back in with the individual I made a promise to.
None of that matters because I allowed all of those excuses to get in the way of the promise I made to this individual. Last week, I happen to be in the area and thought of going to see him. I was afraid to because I was ashamed for not coming to see him the way I had hoped. I didn’t want to look him in the face. But I got in the car and went anyway. I needed to explain and ask forgiveness for what I had done wrong. He needed to know he was not alone.
He wasn’t there. He was transported and he wasn’t there. I broke my promise to a hurting soul who is looking for someone to support him and be in his corner, when others are looking at him with shame and judgment. I broke that promise to him and because he is a child of God, i broke that promise to God too.
I don’t deserve God’s promise to me. Please God, give my portion to him. He needs you.
Maybe I haven’t grown up as much as I thought.