Matthew 5:34-37 KJV But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: (35) Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. (36) Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. (37) But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
I’m sure everyone has heard the story of the little boy who cried “Wolf”. He did that several times until he was no longer believed. His reputation was that he told untruths, and as such when it mattered most and he cried “Wolf” no one would listen. I saw the same thing on an old “I Love Lucy” episode. She wasn’t convinced that Ricky loved her, so she made up a story that some man broke in the apartment. Of course, Ricky came home in a panic. When he found out Lucy was lying – and she refused to admit the lie – he was furious. Later on that night Ricky, Ethel, and Fred were playing cards with Lucy when she got mad and stepped outside of the apartment. This time two men grabbed her and gagged her, tying her up. But as Ricky and the gang heard the sounds inside the apartment they thought Lucy was crying wolf and, as such, just ignored the sounds. When she later hopped back into the apartment all tied up no one would believe her. She had ruined her reputation and her integrity! She had a heart problem.
Nothing bothers me more than to have someone tell me they want to meet with me – then stand me up without calling! That is the sign of immaturity, and sure sign of a heart problem. There was one deacon I know at a past Church who promised me he was going to prepare the ground of the Church for a new sign we had coming. I waited and waited, then when nothing materialized about 4 days before the expected delivery I asked another man to do the work. When the first man heard this he got upset, brought a witness into my office, and even charged me with meanness. I explained to him that this sign was very heavy and needed the ground prepared and the concrete poured and cured now so we could put the sign up when it arrived. Having worked in the sign industry I know that a sign not properly mounted is quickly damaged and destroyed – and this was a $13,000.00 sign! I apologized for hurting his feelings. He then promised that he and several of his employees would be at Church the day of the sign delivery to help unload and install the sign.
On the day the truck pulled up I was at Church by myself. Where were the promised workers? Neither the deacon nor his employees were anywhere to be seen! The agrrement with the sign company was that we would unload the truck ourselves – and the driver was under no obligation to help. I called the deacon’s secretary who said “He’s in a meeting and can’t be reached”. I called around frantically and finally got up enough men to offload the 600 pound church sign. Once the final bolt was tightened my heart went from a rapid rat-a-tat-tat to a more normal beat. It was only by the Grace of God that we got the sign installed.
I asked the deacon later where he was. He thought he had done nothing wrong. “Well, I’m a busy man”. His action not only showed a polluted heart – but it hurt my heart as well – for I no longer trusted him to do anything from that day forward. I forgave him but could not use him. He was untrustworthy. That he was untrustworthy proved out later when he did dishonorable things in the Church, and was instrumental in destroying the progress and health of that precious group of people.
We all struggle with keeping our word at times. I have made promises in the past that I could not keep, and have regretted it in the long run. Everyone has missed appointments. I have, too, and I feel bad when I do. More than this, though, when I fail to keep an appointment I apologize to the one I offended – then do my best to not do it again. I strive to do everything I say that I am going to do. And one thing I’ve learned as I get older – I’ve learned to say NO. I can’t be everywhere and do everything. Sometimes my calendar is just too full. I am only human – though a Son of God.
Lord, help me to be honorable and to do all that honors You.