In the old times, in order to guarantee that one will keep their word, written down terms and conditions with pages and pages of signatures and boxes to tick off – kind of like one of those really annoying documents you get from the bank (the ones you keep signing and signing wondering when you’ll get to the last page) was not required. Nope. In those times, 4 simple words were sufficient; “You have my word“. These words could be taken to the bank and would cash out. These words could call truces at wars without further ado. Those were the times when people’s words still carried some kind of value.
Fast forward to today … What went wrong?
These days, “You have my word” doesn’t cut it any more. Nope! We’ll be needing more than just your word. Yes, we’ll take your word, but we’ll need you to drop your signature on this piece or pieces of paper or we’ll have to make a video or an audio recording just to make sure. These days we’d rather have written down agreements or some sort of insurance or proof to hold people up to what they said because sadly what people say can’t be trusted anymore. People’s words seem to ride off the backs of birds into thin air. Just as a puff of smoke disappears quickly into the air, so do so many promises made these days get broken – as quickly as they are made.
These days, a person can not be taken for just their word anymore
This isn’t how it should be – at least not for those who are in Christ – we should be like him in every way. If there’s one thing we can be certain about God, it is that His word is as sure as a new dawn. Once spoken, that’s it! (God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it? Numbers 23:19). He NEVER goes back on his word. His words are irrevocable, unchangeable, dependable, trustworthy, and permanent.
If we are like him or at least are trying our utmost best to be like him, then our words should be at least somewhat dependable, somewhat trustworthy. We need to bring value back to our spoken words. We are shedding more light on covenants this month. In a previous article, I mentioned that a covenant involves more than one party and in order for the covenant to be valid, all parties involved have to keep up their end of the covenant. Keeping your covenant with God begins with keeping your word. When we make promises, we have to learn to keep them. That’s how we prove that we are really like Him. It’s not going to happen automatically but just like any big thing, we can start small and work our way up.
Start with the small things
Start with those around you – your friends, your spouse, your kids, your employees, your leaders. The simple things you say you will do, like promising to buy your kid a particular gift if they did something, or promising to carry out a certain task for your boss, or promising your employee a raise or even things as little as promising to take out the trash. Do those things! If you said you’d do it, follow up your words and make sure they don’t become empty words. If you can’t keep ‘small’ promises, it’ll be even harder to keep ‘bigger’ ones.
Be conscious and Intentional about your words
Be more intentional about the promises you make. If you don’t think you can keep them, or if you really want to keep them but you’re not sure you’ll be able to, then don’t make them. Don’t just throw words around, be more conscious of every word that comes out of your mouth. Become that person that people can take your word for what it is. They can depend on your word. Honestly, it isn’t an easy thing to achieve, but it is doable and you sure can do it!
Make it your mission to make your words valuable and dependable. Keep your promises both to God and to man. Think wisely about any promises you make before you make them. When you keep your word, you portray a characteristic of God and he will be proud of you.