promises, promises, promises

When was the last time someone broke their promise to you? How did it make you feel? For most of us the feelings can begin with anger and then, as we accept the fact that the person has let us down, we migrate to feelings of disappointment. Then there is the whole broken trust issue. We wonder if we can ever again believe anything this person tells us. The wise sage of Proverbs, in his typical poetic style, described the feeling this way: “Like billowing clouds that bring no rain is the person who talks big but never produces.” (Proverbs 25:14) Pretty descriptive considering the humid weather we’ve been experiencing. There have been a number of days in the past week when I watched the sky cloud up and thought how refreshing a rain shower would be only to be disappointed as the humidity level rose.

On the other hand, the writer of Proverbs says this: “Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!” (Proverbs 25:13) That’s the kind of person I want to be-Always faithful, always true to my word, always consistent… If only that were possible. The truth is, as well meaning as I intend to be, the fact remains that: there are some things that are beyond my control; I don’t always have all the information needed to make the commitments I do; and, I am human, therefore, inconsistent in my attitude and behavior due to my not yet perfect nature. The same applies to you. No matter how well intentioned and pure of motive you might be, this fact remains-sometimes you and I are the aforementioned cloud that looks impressive but fails to produce. (Which is why we are constantly encouraged in Scripture to overlook one another’s failures due to sins of omission and forgive one another as Christ has forgiven us.)

The good news is that there is one who is always consistent in everything he says and does. We can have the same confidence Abraham had of whom Paul wrote in Romans 4:21, “He (Abraham) was absolutely convinced that God was able to do anything he promised,” and He can!


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