One of my favorite movies – and one that I believe every Father of young children should see – is Hook. There is a line in the movie where Peter Banning (played by Robin Williams) makes a promise to his son who is skeptical. Peter says “My word is my bond” and his son Jack (played by Charlie Korsmo) says “Yeah, junk bonds.”
In the Sermon on the mount Jesus take up the topic of promises or vows. Here is what He has to say:
Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. “Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; and anything beyond these is of evil. (Matt 5:33-37 NASB)
Can you be trusted? I knew a guy once who would always, when given the choice, lie. It didn’t matter what the topic, or what the occasion, you could not trust anything he told you. It was the strangest thing, and it made doing business with him almost impossible.
Truth and honesty are key priority in the Kingdom of God. In Christ we see this prophesy from Psalm 85:10 fulfilled:
“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
This follows John’s description of Jesus as the Word of God. God’s word is Truth, and so Jesus confirms this by telling us later in John
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." (John 14:6)
In Psalm 15 David declares that the man who would come into the presence of God was one who “swears to his own hurt, and does not change.” In other words, God puts a high place of honor and importance on your words. What you say matters.
God does not want us to throw words around, and make promises we do not intend to keep. [Tweet This] How often do we do this with our loved ones? It is easy to make promises to our kids, and then recant, or get too busy, or “change our minds.” But I believe a man’s word must be his bond. A promise needs to be kept.
The thing is, when we break promises, we are representing God as a promise breaker. We are supposed to be representing or I like to say re-presenting God the Father and Jesus to the world around us. When we break our word, it brings disgrace to the Lord and demonstrates a God who does not keep His word. This is true in everything we do. In many cases we are the only Christ others will ever see. If we are untrustworthy, then they write off God as untrustworthy.
Let’s up the honesty quotient today.