Ever made a promise you didn't want to keep? If you're human, you probably have. Lord knows I've done it more times than I care to think about. Honestly, when I was (much) younger, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. Then that changed. I had a son--a very persistent son with a wonderful memory.
Now, in the early years, the question of promises didn't matter a whole lot. Harrison didn't even know how to spell promise, much less what one was. So, I didn't have to worry about those things.
Then, he got older and all was rearranged. I don't remember when or where. But it probably went something like this. Harrison asked a question. Daddy made a promise that he would take care of it later. Later came. Daddy forgot. Harrison reminded daddy...again and again.
Now, how can you teach your kids about keeping their word if you're not going to follow through on the horsey ride or throwing the football or playing a game. Truth is, you're not. And that's the principle that David is emphasizing for us in Psalm 15 today.
"...who keeps his oath even when it hurts..." Psalm 15:4 NIV
Jesus emphasized this truth with another teaching.
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things." Matthew 25:21 NIV
You see, it's only when we are faithful and trustworthy with smaller things that God will allow us the bigger responsibilities (not that keeping your promise to your kids is a small thing...just follow me here). My word is my word whether that is to a 12 year old, my wife, my church members or...to God. Even when it hurts, I've got to be found faithful in my actions and my words. To be a true reflection of God, people must know that my word can be counted on and that my promises will be iron clad.
Don't you miss the days when a man's word is his word. If you've bought a house in the last 20 years, you know that's no longer the case. Entire forests have to die every time a contract is struck between a seller and a buyer. No one's word counts for very much any more. Godly people should be working to reverse that trend. That begins with the small promises that you and I make day to day. I want you to know my word can be trusted. But that responsibility ultimately falls back at my feet...not yours. And it begins with a promise I made to my son last night. His birthday's this week and I've made an oath with him. One I intend on keeping.