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Keep your word, covenant, promise

You just got a flat tire! What now? Are you able to drive safely? Of course not. How do you feel when you make plans that are contingent on someone else doing something and they promise to do it but don’t live up to their promises? Your car doesn’t drive, does it?

That is the same as when you give your word to someone and you don’t keep it. The project, activity, plan isn’t going to work the same as originally thought. What do we do, why does it happen, how do we change it? Read on…

Keeping promises is extremely important in order to keep friends and family close to you. Sometimes, nothing else in the world will hurt as much as a broken promise or turning back from your word. Not surprisingly then, the Bible speaks about keeping promises quite a lot. God, after all, is One who always keeps his promises and is incapable of lying or deceiving anyone. He is always true to His word and always delivers on it. As such, we are to emulate Him and strive to maintain that kind of candor and strength in keeping promises. We must do as Jesus did.

I was raised in a generation of people who were taught the importance of keeping your word. If you told someone you were going to do something, you just flat out did it. You didn’t hem and haw. You didn’t make excuses. You just did it. If something occurred that prevented, you from keeping your word (what we called “Being Providentially Hindered”) we called or contacted the person we gave our word to and explained that we could not do as promised. In such a case both parties understood, and all was forgiven. The word was not broken.

To be saved by Christ means to give your word to Him, to surrender to Him. Your word matters. It doesn’t end at your word, it also means every thought and deed. When you come to Christ you commit all that is you to all that is He, and He promises to never leave you nor forsake you. He promises eternal life. He promises undying love. He promises to be with you.

Are you with Him?

We are all familiar with sayings such as "A man's word is his bond," or "A handshake is as good as a contract." These sayings belong to another age. We live in a world where contracts are worth only the paper they are written on, and promises are broken with impunity. Today, a man's word means little, and a handshake is merely a handshake.


The keeping of one's word seems so unimportant in this society. As the world around us, we could view the honoring of what we pledge as being insignificant, but those called by God should never do so. Indeed, keeping our word is of the highest importance to Him, and in fact, it is a criterion for entering His Kingdom.


Psalm 15:1 asks the question, "Who may dwell in Your holy hill?" The psalm then answers this question with a list of qualifications of those God will accept into His Family: those who walk uprightly, work righteousness, speak the truth, do not backbite, do any evil to their neighbor, and so forth. One quality near the end of the list is most appropriate to keep our word: "He who swears to his own hurt and does not change" (verse 4).

Some of the reasons we don't keep our word include:

We don't realize that we've made or implied a promise.

We forget what we've said.

We get sidetracked by other events.

We lose enthusiasm when we realize that keeping our word is harder than we expected.

We haven't allowed enough time, or we have a scheduling conflict.

We lack the power to do what we've said we'd do.


What can we do to be able to do what we say we are going to do?

Be Organized – check to make sure that you will be able to do what you say you will do before you say it. Do you have the time, resources, ability, and desire?

Be Motivated – carefully weigh the consequences of agreeing to do something before accepting. Do you really want to do this?

Be Honest – If you know you can’t deliver, say so. You will not be thought poorly of for saying NO. but you will not be appreciated much for not delivering.

Be Principled – Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Don’t make excuses! Do what you say you will do or don’t accept the challenge.

Be Apologetic – there are times when things truly happen that make it impossible to do what you promised. So, say sorry! Do your best to find someone else to do your task. If not, if possible, let the person you promised to know that you won’t fulfill.

Your word, integrity, and reputation make up your name. Keep your name one that people can count on.




Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father and being loved in return.


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