Proverbs 13.12 says ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.’ which is nice and everything so if you give someone your word then make sure you are true to it otherwise you will give someone a sick heart. is what i think the author of the Ten Ways to Love list [which remember is not me, i am just expounding on this list] was meaning with this point.

and it is on this point that i would disagree. because Matthew 5.33-37 reads, ‘“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.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.’ which i think is a completely different thing.

i would suggest this is strongly linked to number 7 which was Trust without wavering. and i would say that the 9th way to Love would be more along the lines of ‘Speak and then hold to your word.’ Don’t promise at all.

i think back to when i was a child and someone would tell me something and you don’t really believe them and then they add ‘I promise’ and then you’re all like, ‘Oh, okay well, if you promised then you must be telling the truth.’ and then if they REALLY want you to believe them they will promise on their mom’s grave [um, your mom’s still alive?] or their grandmothers [right, Johnny Fairplay from Survivor]

that’s not Love though. love is telling it to me straight the first time. and every time. which tends to build a trust with someone that won’t waver. imagine a world where you could take for granted that someone’s “yes” was a “yes” and their “no was a no” and you didn’t have to guess motives or what the people-pleaser was really wanting to answer or who is being deceptive and who is not. that is a world where Love reigns supreme.

i cannot make anyone else do this [sadly!] but it can start with me. for most of my life i have refused to make promises to people. if i say it to you, you can trust that it is true. the onus is then on me to keep my word and to model for others how powerful this can be.

looking back to the title heading, the ‘without forgetting’ part is essential and that is something that can be worked on – if i give my word to someone then it is not good enough to go back later with an ‘oh sorry, i forgot’ because in essence that is the same as going back on a promise. if i know that i struggle to remember things [like i do] then i need to do whatever it takes [put it in my phone calender, make myself a note, write it on my hand] to make sure that i remember. it is all about honouring what i have said and building a deserved trust which becomes a demonstrated Love.

as i work hard at giving people a straight answer and then sticking to it, without forgetting, may it inspire those around me to build trust with me and to also move away from feeling the need to add “i promise” to their words to make them any more legitimate…

what are your thoughts and experiences on making promises and remembering things you have said you will do?

to read on to pray without ceasing, click here