What is the value of your word? Children playing in the field chiming to each other pinkie promise for whatever secret or scheme that they have dreamed up. Gleeful sounds from times past…We remember those days. Growing older we say we are going to keep promises. Some examples of promises we make as adults are:
1. When we wed (remember the phrase, “love, honor, and obey”)
2. When we go to work and promise to work as scheduled or do something they request (I know those five minutes extra, no big deal. The application is essentially a contract between you and your employer)
3. When we sign for our driver’s license (Do you speed or do a rolling stop? You signed a document which states you will obey the rules of the road.)
4. When you promise yourself that you will be debt free in five years.
5. Or when you ask God for a favor and promise to do something in return.
But, should we keep all our promises? Does it say anything about us? Your word is your bond and reflects character. Before making a promise, one needs to consider are they really planning on keeping the promise. If you aren’t planning on keeping your promise, it better that you do not make it, unless keeping the promise means you would break the law, man’s or God’s.
Keeping promises are very important. I am going to write from my point of view as someone who has broken some & kept some promises. Sometimes, it is hard to keep your promise. Maybe they are not kept because you are hurt, afraid of consequences, or lack the drive to follow through…But, how does it make one fill to have an obligation unfulfilled? I made a promise many years ago with full intention of following through, but never got around to do it. There was always something that popped up. I totally plan on working on it now.
The problem with not fulfilling promises is if your conscience works any, you may feel bad, like you haven’t completed a task and/or a nagging feeling of incompleteness. It shows the inability to follow through, lack of respect for the other person, especially if they completed their side of the bargain. According to Psychology Today, it shows that we don’t value them, and they can’t expect us to be there for them. Is that something we really want to convey to the people we meet or know?
By not following through, when we fail to complete our promises, we tear away a bit of our inner core, diminish the person we want others to see especially ourselves. We lose a bit our self worth. By completing our promises, we feel satisfied; build bonds, and our self esteem rises. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is fortitude which is having the courage to do what is right. When we have the courage to keep our promises no matter how difficult, we are strengthening our bonds with the Blessed Trinity and/or with the other party. Keeping a commitment such as a promise takes fortitude.
I plan on working on keeping the promise I once made and any promises I make. It will most probably take me a lifetime to complete, but I will be all the better for it. I hope you will, as well.