Promises, Promises

When we think about making vows, consider God’s view: God desires for his people to be like him. Our word so important to God because his word is so important to him.  God doesn’t lie.  God is faithful to his word.  No swearing on a stack of bibles required…

21 If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. 23 Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth.
Deuteronomy 23:21-23

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Matthew 5:33-37

12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.
James 5:12

Are you a swearer?  Do you swear on your mother’s life or a stack of bibles or your dead child (I actually heard this recently)?  Enough’s enough.  Stop it.  Don’t make a vow or swear against anything or anyone else – not by heaven or by earth.

God will hold us to the vows we make.  The covenant of marriage is an example of a vow which God takes seriously.  Some of us treat getting out of a white lie like it’s a marriage.  Don’t swear that it’s true.  Don’t swear you never did it.  God is listening, and as we can see, he cares.

Why is our word so important to God?  I think it’s because his word is so important to him.  God doesn’t lie.  And he does what he says he will do.  Every time.  God is faithful to his word and to his people. Every time.  In every situation.

And so when we think about swearing and vowing and giving our words, we ought to think about God’s view of these actions.  God desires for his people to be like him.  That is what he is building into us day after day and week after week as the Holy Spirit works in us to make us look more and more like Jesus.  So to turn around and show a lax attitude about our word goes against the character of God.

So just say yes.  Or no.  And leave it at that.  We don’t need to say more and even if the pressure is on to provide more emphatic response, do not make a vow.  You can control what you do and what you say.  You cannot, even by vowing, control how others view or accept you.  That’s on them. 

Follow God with your words and trust him with the outcome.


Marc Kinna


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