“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you” (Anonymous). In other words, do what you promised to do long after the euphoria of the moment is gone. This has become one of my favorite quotes.
Most people make God promises during highly anointed services, or in environments that are conducive to making emotional decisions. Others make promises to God during moments of crisis. I am not referring to those times when you hear the clarion voice of the Lord and you step out by faith trusting that God will make provision.
I have personally stepped out by faith and pledged significant seed offerings with money I could have used to pay off a debt or funds I was saving for a very important or specific purpose. There were also times when I heard the Lord speak, and I did not have the resources, but I stepped out by faith trusting God to make provision, only to have God provide a blessing beyond what I promised Him. There have been times when I was part of a highly anointed service and did not hear from the Lord; on those occasions, I only sowed what my budget allowed me to sow. Remember, I am talking about a seed offering, not your financial obligation to your church; you should always enter the Lord’s House with an offering of praise and your finances.
As a practice, I try not to bargain with God or make Him promises I cannot keep or deliver. Many of us have made promises to God and have failed to fulfill them. Listen to the counsel of the preacher, King Solomon, “Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.” Proverbs 20:25 (NLT)
By definition, a “rash promise” is acting or tending to act too hastily or without due consideration. It also speaks of someone whose character is to be hasty or one who does not consider the consequences of their actions or decisions. George S. Patton, Jr. was a senior officer of the United States Army, who commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean and European Theaters during World War II. He was best known for his leadership of the U.S. Third Army in France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy. Patton said the following, “Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.” Before you make any decision, you should always consider or calculate the cost.
As a pastor and leader, I have noticed that some people make promises they can’t keep. Making a promise and not keeping that promise can have devastating consequences, especially on young minds. Not to mention the effect it has on your reputation! People who make promises and never keep them are like rain clouds that give no rain in a time of drought. As stated earlier, I try to make it a practice not to make promises I cannot keep and endeavor to keep every promise I make.
A reputation once established is difficult to change. Nevertheless, it can be changed. If you are someone who does not keep promises, it is time to change!
“Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.”
Proverbs 20:25 (NLT)