Thursday, July 29, 2010
Swearing to Our Own Hurt
Psalm 15 address the question of the character of the person may dwell with the Lord. Among other things the psalm says in verse 5: "He who swears to his own hurt and does not change," and concludes in verse 6, saying: "He who does these things shall never be moved." Since the Fall, people have been prone to say one thing and do another; to enter into covenant and to then become covenant-breakers; to vow and not pay (Eccl. 5:5). It's easy to make a promise when we perceive a benefit but it seem easy to forget that promise when it becomes costly. In addition to "forgetting," people often claim they did not really understand what they were promising and so they presume themselves under no obligation to keep their word. They "weasel out" and never look back.
We can count on God's words because He is always faithful; He is always a covenant-keeper. "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen" (2 Cor. 1:20). God takes His own words seriously and He also takes our words seriously (even if we don't). It's a mistake to think God will bless a covenant-breaker. We can't say one thing and do another and still expect to dwell with the Lord. Swearing to our own hurt is a demonstration of godly character since it is a reflection of God Himself―we are called to represent and reflect His character. Remembering what we have promised and being scrupulous to keep our vows, especially when it is difficult, is evidence of God's grace and demonstrative of the person who "shall never be moved."
This kind of character will be seen, not only in the big public promises (like marriage, church membership, business contracts, and court testimony), but also in the little things (in the unseen things and in the details); including our casual promises and commitments to our children, spouses, friends and neighbors. He who is faithful in little will be faithful in much. When someone has told you they would do something for you, you probably remembered it and you expected it. If they didn't follow through―if they broke their word―you also probably haven't forgotten it.
What covenants, vows, contracts, promises and implied promises have you made? Do you remember the details? Do you need to review the documents or asked those to whom you made these commitments? Are you prepared to keep your word even if it hurts? If so, then you will be blessed by God and dwell with Him and never be moved. What is that worth?