Being True to Oneself and Ingratitude
A second aspect of fidelity in words is the act of keeping one’s promises. A faithful person does not make commitments lightly. When they make a promise, they do so with the knowledge that they are capable of fulfilling it.
It is a pitfall for a person to take a commitment to God lightly and only contemplate its significance after making vows. Proverbs 20.25 45
“When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” Numbers 30.3
These verses show how much God values the keeping of our commitments to Him, as He sets the perfect example in fulfilling His commitments to us. Likewise, God also expects us to honor our commitments to our fellow human beings. God does not want us to be fickle individuals who commit to something and then back out for any reason.
However, when we hastily and thoughtlessly make commitments, the Bible tells us that we should have the courage to go back to the person and retract our commitment without turning it into a habit, a lifestyle because those who commit without thinking lack understanding. “if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth.” Proverbs 6.2
“A man without sense gives his hand in pledge and puts up security for his neighbor.” Proverbs 17.18
The Bible makes it clear that God expects us to keep our word, to honor our commitments. God wants us to be known as reliable individuals, whether in big or small matters. When we commit to work for a company, for example, God expects us to respect our schedules and fulfill the tasks for which we were hired. God wants us to be there when we commit to helping a brother move.
However, we see that many people, even if they are Christians, make commitments lightly. Some commit due to peer pressure, others just to appear generous and altruistic, and some have good intentions but don’t assess the cost of the commitment, the time, energy, or finances it will require. That’s why, before making a commitment, before making a promise, whether small or large, it is important that we think beforehand about the impact of our words.
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” Luke 14.28
Although some commitments are driven by strong faith, in many cases, it’s better to calculate the cost of our commitments, whether they are financial or social. Before committing, we should ask ourselves the following questions:
- Do I have the time for this activity?
- Do I have the necessary financial resources?
- Can I consistently commit to this activity?
- Will it not harm other areas of my life?
To these questions, we should add the most important one:
- Is it God who is asking me to do it, or is it just my own desires?
If we take the time to evaluate the implications of our commitments, we will not make them lightly and will become faithful men and women.
Ingratitude or lack of appreciation is also a hindrance to demonstrating fidelity. When our hearts tend to take everything for granted, we no longer value what we have, and we forget to be thankful.
For instance, we cease to be grateful for the job in which we feel exploited because we work late, and the salary no longer satisfies us. Yet, we forget that three years ago, this job was a subject of gratitude for us. We consider our employment a given, we have our permanent contract, we know that a dismissal would cost the company dearly, so we can afford some absences and occasional tardiness.
When we give up being thankful to God for salvation, for His sacrifice on the cross, and when we regard grace as a right, we become demanding toward God. We expect Him to keep His word, to grant us promotion, marriage, healing before we can honor our commitments.
An ungrateful heart, devoid of appreciation, will lead to acts of unfaithfulness. Therefore, we must ensure that we maintain grateful hearts, aware of the grace we have.
“By the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15.10
This text is an excerpt from the book ” What God Desires to See in Us ” written by Marc SAKALA .