Where Will Your Promises Lead?

The Promise

According to Webster’s, a promise is a commitment by someone to do or not do something. None of us are strangers to the concept. I would suggest that we make promises several times a week, every week of our life. A promise doesn’t have to be stated as such. You make a plan to meet a friend for dinner. You have promised you will arrive when you plan to. It is no less a commitment because you don’t say the word.

The question my book raises is “How different would your life be if you were held to all your promises, big and small?” You get pulled over by a police officer and he takes your license back to his cruiser. While you wait, you make a promise to whoever you make promises to at a time like this. “Please, please, don’t give me a ticket. My insurance will go sky high. I promise I will never speed again. Just no ticket.” So the officer comes back and gives you a warning. You are so excited that you speed off down the road at the exact same speed you were traveling when you were pulled over.

You see, we make promises at the time of crisis in hopes of deflecting the dangers. Once the crisis passes, so does our commitment to our promise. The problem is that sooner or later our broken promises catch up to us. The important people in our life start to question our intentions, our word. Others outside of our close circle lose their respect for you. Finally, the guy in the mirror doesn’t take himself seriously. When a promise becomes a manipulation, all integrity is lost.

Words have meaning. They carry weight. They require respect. When you use words for effect rather than with accountability, they become empty noise. What disappears in time is trust. No relationship at any level can exist without a level of trust, whether it’s romantic or parental, serious or casual, social or business. Trust is built over time, brick by brick and each brick represents a word. Walls of trust can’t stand when the bricks turn to dust.

In The Promise, David makes a promise that saves his life, only to discover that he will be held to his promise. He could have complained, tried to wiggle his way out or make excuses. He didn’t. He stepped out in faith, he kept his word and lives were changed all over the world, including his own.

How about you? When will you know that the bond of your word will change a life? Yours, a parent’s, a spouse, a child’s or even a perfect stranger. How will you measure the value of a moment when you have to choose between action or inaction, between faith and doubt? When will your promise save a life?

I will make a difference. I will fight for what is right, defend those in need. I will care and I won’t give up. I promise. How about you?

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