Thursday, November 3, 2011

But, You Promised!

Matthew 14:9-10
The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison.

Have you ever made a promise to someone, but couldn't keep it? Surely, we've all been there, done that, at some point in our lives. How did it make you feel?

Did you ever, because you had not yet learned to say "no" with a smile, pledge to do something you truly didn't have time for? Or, even worse, had no interest in doing in the first place?

And, when someone promises to do something for you and doesn't follow through, does it change the way you think about the person?

Pause here just a moment. Reread these three scenarios. Recall an exact situation in your life when one of these occurred. Take a few moments to jot down the emotions you felt and the thoughts you had at the time.
Look closely at the words you wrote down. How are they speaking to you? Is there someone in your life whom you need to forgive? Is there someone who deserves your apology? Do you need to forgive yourself?

The bottom line is this: promises, large or small, should never be made lightly. A promise to your child to take him to the park is, to that child, as big as the one carelessly made with blustery bravado by King Herod.

Stop and think before you make your next promise.

Is it one you can keep?

Will you pray with me?

Heavenly Father, please prevent us from making promises we cannot fulfill. Help us to choose our words wisely when committing ourselves to another. If we do break a promise or someone does so to us, may we have hearts to forgive and forget. Thank you, Lord, for you never-broken promise to always love us. Amen.

Psalms (70), 71 or 74
Ezra 7:(1-10) 11-26
Revelation 14:1-13
Matthew 14:1-2


  1. The last paragraph touched me a lot..and I guess I need to ponder on those lines..thank u for this one.

  2. Hello.
    Yes...been there, done that, had it done to me. It's much easier to forgive others than it is to forgive oneself.

    Thought-provoking post indeed.
    Thanks for sharing & visiting. I appreciate it.

    Probing Into Your Thoughts

  3. Great thought provoking post! I used to say yes to so much and then regret it...often breaking well intended promises. Now I say no. It's that simple. It took years to learn how to do this but I feel so much better about myself.

  4. Thanks, Alpana, Andy, and Leah, for stopping by today!
    @Alpana - So glad to know that you were especially touched by the last paragraph here. These are thoughts I need to revisit, too.
    @Andy - Glad you're on Blogplicity! Yes, we have all been in that uncomfortable place and it is, oftentimes, much easier to forgive others than ourselves.
    @Leah - I was in that same boat - not being able to say "no" - and it took me years to bail out of this trap. So glad to know I'm not alone! :)

    Blessings to all!

  5. Martha - I had to teach myself not to promise more than I could do. I think it's tied up to low self-esteem - we want to be people-pleasers. However, we end up displeasing other people and ourselves. Wonderful reflection, Martha. I love how you took the Herod story and weaved it in to something that's so relevant for us today.

  6. Thank you so much, David and Corinne, for stopping by!
    @David - A big thank you!
    @Corinne - I think you hit the nail on the head with the low self-esteem issue. We are so afraid of being disliked by someone, we put them first instead of taking time to think about what we truly want or need. And, thank you for the compliment concerning the Herod story. He is the perfect example of speaking before thinking!

    Blessings to you both!

  7. Thanks so much for this reminder. Yes to all of the above at some point in my life.

  8. Hi, Cathy! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!
    We are all there at some point in our lives. If you check out tomorrow's blog, you will see that I forgot to carry out a promise which I did catch up on, but, much to my dismay, was remiss in doing so in the first place. Wouldn't it be nice if I could heed my own advice? :)
    We are all human, cut from the same cloth. We make mistakes. That's precisely why we need a Savior.


  9. I think many people make promises with the best intentions. Not knowing how to say no and leading a hectic life are often the causes. If a person habitually breaks promises, it does change how I feel about that person, but I still try to be understanding.

  10. I have been and done that. Nowadays I do not promise anything unless I can keep it. Earlier days I would be very upset about someone promising and not keeping it but today I always things with a pinch of salt. If the person cannot keep his word I believe he or she has a valid reason for not keeping it. And as for people who make promises lightly I know I should also take them lightly and nor expect anything from them. Very thought provoking Martha. Enjoyed reading it.

  11. Outstanding post. All so true. I learned this lessons early on with my children. It has taken a bit more with adult family and friends, to not take seriously the ones who always promise and never follow through. Learning to accept It is their behavior and not mine that is at fault took a bit of time.

  12. Martha I think we all have been down that path where we have said or made promises to others....until the day or time comes when we see ourself being torn into pieces and scattered and hurt because we could not fulfill those 'YES's or promises....
    What prevents us from say NO the first time... is it rejection... or wanting to be liked... wanting to know or be it all?


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