Proverbs 12:22 – God can't stomach liars; he loves the company of those who keep their word. (MSG)
I was blessed with parents who both followed the biblical instruction to keep their promises.
While many such circumstances come to my mind, there are two that I will share with you.
My father accepted a senior lay leadership role in the place where we worshipped in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. He accepted that responsibility long before I was born in 1933 and continued until his employer transferred him to Toronto in 1946.
His responsibility required him to participate in the leadership of the Sunday services.
We were fortunate to have a summer cottage at Ipperwash Beach on Lake Huron, and we always looked forward to getting in the car after his work finished on Friday afternoon and driving the 55 kilometres to the beach.
Without fail, however, on Sunday morning, we were again loaded into the car and drove back down to Sarnia for the morning service. Dad had given his word, and he never failed to keep it.
The other experience that I learned about occurred over a century ago. I am the youngest of six children (five of us boys). My oldest brother was born in 1917.
As my young parents worked out their mutual responsibilities, apparently my dad said that he wasn't too keen on changing diapers. Mother quickly offered to make a deal. She said that she would change all the diapers if he agreed to clear the table after meals and wash the dishes.
Since that was a relatively pleasant task, my dad agreed, and they both were happy.
Dad soon realized, however, that babies grow out of diapers. Clearing the table and washing dishes go on forever.
Mum had wisely chosen the better arrangement and out-manoeuvred my Dad. He, however, had given his word, and he kept his word throughout their entire married life.
An interesting benefit of dad keeping his word is that all five of us boys courted young ladies, who each thought that they had a well-trained fiancé. Their boyfriends had grown up knowing that it was a man's responsibility to clean up after meals and do the dishes. Dad never went back on his word, and in turn, our wives benefited.
We may laugh at how my mother outsmarted my dad, but my dad had the last laugh. Because he could be depended on to keep his word, he held senior positions with a major company. Probably the biggest compliment he would receive was when someone would say, "His word is his bond!"
In a self-centred world where people will do anything underhanded to get ahead, let us practice the virtue of integrity, and keep our promises without fail.
Prayer: Dear Father, help us always to keep our word. May we realize that whether it is to maintain commitments we make in Your service or even just to do ordinary tasks, may we always be faithful. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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