We live in an era of unkept promises. Nations sign important treaties and then break them at will. And married couple show little regard for their wedding vows. In this kind of society, we who are God’s people should be known for keeping our promises.
The brilliant Christian scholar and writer Clive Staples Lewis took that truth seriously. He was determined to pay what he had vowed. His biography tells of the suffering he endured because he kept a promise he had made to a buddy during World War I. this friend was worried about the care of his wife and a small daughter if he should be killed in battle, so Lewis assured him that if that were to happen he would look after them. As the war dragged on, the man was killed. True to his word, Lewis took care of his friend’s family. Yet no matter how helpful he tried to be, the woman was ungrateful, rude, arrogant, and domineering. Through it all, Lewis kept forgiving her. He refused to let her actions become an excuse to renege on his promise.
Clive Staples Lewis discovered something Hannah had learned many centuries earlier. Keeping a vow is not easy. It was undoubtedly heart-rending for Hannah to leave her little boy – perhaps about 5 years old – with Eli. But she carried out her pledge and did so without complaining.
If we love the Lord and if we care for people, we are bound to make some promises. But let’s give prayerful thought to each one. Then let’s do everything we can to keep them – no matter what the cost! – Herbert Vander Lugt
If we have made a solemn vow,
A vow that’s good and true,
Let’s trust the Lord for grace and strength
To help us follow through. – D. J. De Haan
Promises may gain friends, but it is performance that keeps them.
- June 15, 1985, Our Daily Bread