“All I did was pray to God, every day. In prison camp, the main prayer was, ‘Get me home alive, God, and I’ll seek you and serve you.’ I came home, got wrapped up in the celebration, and forgot about the hundreds of promises I’d made to God.” ~ Louis Zamperini
“It wasn’t that important.” That is something I often hear from someone who explains why he or she did not keep a promise to another. It wasn’t that important. Excuse me? When we make a promise, do we not give that person our word? Is our word not important? If that is the case, we are not important. And that is wrong.
We are made in the divine image and likeness of God. We are His very special creations. Our word, then, is sacred. It should not be given lightly. To do so would be the equivalent of a lie. God does not want any of His people to lie either to Him, to one another, or to themselves. We must be honest at all times.
Now we know that honesty comes at a price. If we are honest, it means that we have to accept consequences for what we have done. But those consequences are trivial compared to the consequences of dishonesty. If we are dishonest in our words, if we make empty promises to others, then the consequences can be quite dire. We could end up losing the trust of others. It is horrible to go through life not being trusted or not having our words be accepted at face value.
Zamperini spoke about a time in his life that he promised God all sorts of things if God would deliver him from the horrors of the prison camp. Afterwards, when he was free, he neglected those promises to God for a time. Eventually, he turned his life around and became an evangelist.
Our lives are filled with promises to God at times of trial. So many of those promises are broken afterward when our lives return to an even keel. Oftentimes, we hear people say, “I know that God understands that I made those promises under great duress.” He may understand. However, does that excuse the breaking of our promises made to Him?
FAITH ACTION: Search your heart. Have you made promises to God or others that you have neglected? Today might be a good day to redirect yourself.