Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.Matthew 5:37
Let me ask you something. How many promises have you broken? Even if you could describe yourself as amazing at keeping promises I would guess that you’ve at least broken one, right? I will be the first to admit I couldn’t even count the number of promises I have broken in my lifetime. None of us have the ability to see the future, so why are we so quick to promise the future? It makes us feel good right? The ability to predict the future and guarantee it is a pretty cool ability. The problem is that it isn’t our ability. When we make a promise, and it just so happens that it comes to fruition; we didn’t really do anything except weigh out a risk verse reward, and decide the reward of satisfaction is worth the risk of breaking the promise. Now sure, lets say you are standing in front of a person with 100 dollars in your pocket, and you promise them a dollar. The likelihood of being able to fulfill that “promise” is exponentially infinite. It would literally take an act of God to break that promise, but even if the likelihood of a broken promise is .000001 is it really a promise?
Why would Jesus make sure one of the things He taught while on the earth be to not make vows? Why would this be important to Him. I mean, to us these days saying, “I promise” rolls off the tongue. It is used by the honest and the liar equally and often with the same probability of it being fulfilled. Like our second grade teacher, Jesus is just being annoying with language right?
“Teacher, can I use the restroom.”
“I don’t know if you can, but you may if you need to.”
Yeah, we’ve all heard it. So why does Jesus tell us to not make vows or promises?
I think that we as Christians should take this to heart, and Paul hammers the nail on the head:
So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.Romans 14:13
I’m sure some of you are starting to get off my thought process train, but I promise I am getting to a point. See, just rolls right off the tongue (or fingers.)
There is one being in this entire universe that can make a promise, and that is God. It is no question that because our minds can only fathom reality as we know it we tend to put God in a box of our own conscious perception. That being said, when we make promises we can’t keep we are actually doing a serious injustice to other Christians by allowing them to feel like true promises can also be broken. If you’ve ever felt a promise placed on your heart by God know this. It is a promise. It is unbreakable. The omniscient God will absolutely see it through because He already knows exactly how it’s going to happen. It is so easy for us to forget that because of what we know about promises in this world. We ask ourselves, “What happens if God’s promise isn’t real?” I know I’ve asked that, and I’ve been asked that. We ask this out of a fear that God is not as all knowing as we are told He is in the Bible. We ask this because sometimes God’s promise comes far before the roller-coaster ride even hits its first cliff, and on the way down it doesn’t at all seem like there is going to be an up.
If you need more proof, just take a look at the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis. Joseph was promised Egypt as a young boy, but first went through hell on Earth to get there. From favored son, to slave, and finally a prisoner. Literally, by our understanding, that’s an impossible resume to sit down with the pharaoh to trying to be his second in command, but it was God’s promise, and it came fruition. From the depths of prison Joseph became second in command of all of Egypt.
All that being said I don’t really have much in conclusion, I’m with Jesus on this one. Lets stop saying I promise, and lets just say I will. Lets let God keep his definition of a promise in tact, and maybe – even when the promise is unbelievable – we can hold a little more sure that we believe the promise will come true.