“In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not” (Psalm 15:4).
“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour...” (Zechariah 8:16).
Four times in Scripture God is revealed as “the God of truth” (Deut. 32:4). He always keeps His Word. He is utterly dependable. And God’s people are to follow His example.
The believer must be very careful when he or she agrees to something, because he is responsible before God and man to keep his word. It is not a light matter to give one’s word about something.
The principle of honesty has often helped me in decision making. If I agree to visit a church for a Bible conference, for example, and later have doubts about the matter, I have learned that it is best to stay with the original decision. It is a matter of honesty and dependability. I gave my word in the matter, and I should keep it. To change that decision later is confusion.
I have had dealings with many undependable people who change their minds after giving their pledge about some matter. This is confusion. It is not a godly characteristic. The true man of God is a man of his word. He “swears to his own injury” (Psa. 15:4).
George Washington, America’s foremost founding father and first president, was a great leader because he was “a man of virtue.” His honesty was renowned. He was a man of his word. He was dependable. He paid his debts. He would do everything in his power to keep his promises. He said, “I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.”
The exception to not keeping your promise is if you discover that the promise would cause you to disobey God’s Word and to fall into sin and error. We see this principle in Proverbs 6:1-5. The context is becoming surety for a debt. This is not wise and can result in harm to one’s finances and reputation, and in such a case, God’s Word counsels the individual to do everything he can to get out of the agreement.
For example, if I agree to marry someone and then realize that it this clearly not God’s will, because the individual is not saved or not likeminded doctrinally or for some other clear reason, I should break that engagement contract.
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