How Far Must You Go to Keep Your Word?

Recently, I was confronted with a certain pattern of sin in my life.  With the caring words of a brother in Christ came the recognition that I often don’t keep my word.  With good intention I tell people I will do something for them only to get busy doing something else, put the promise on the back burner, and forget to follow through.  Biting conviction entered my heart at the realization that this neglect does not reflect the character of God in the least.  At our church we understand that we have been made in the image of God, so we have a saying that helps us live in light of that reality: “We were made to show the world what God is like”.  With this purpose in mind, I have failed miserably in showing others that God is faithful.

To help me in my repentance I have been meditating on Psalm 15.  In verse 1 David asks two questions: “O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?  Who shall dwell on your holy hill?”  The rest of the Psalm answers these questions by describing different attributes of righteousness.  One attribute that applies to my sin in particular is found in the last half of verse 4, the one who shall dwell on the holy hill of the Lord is the one “who swears to his own hurt and does not change”.  In other words, a righteous person keeps his promise even if it means he must suffer to keep it, and he does not waver from this conviction.  Living out this verse shows the world that God is faithful, especially when you consider Jesus.  In speaking of himself as the Good Shepherd, Jesus said, “I came that [my sheep] may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).  In order to keep this promise and many others, Jesus was arrested, abandoned by his friends, wrongfully accused, mocked, flogged, crucified, and forsaken by his Father.  Jesus suffered unimaginably to keep his word.  You and I need to follow this example to show the world that God is faithful.

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About Brent Osterberg

Ransomed sinner, husband to Keri, father to the kiddos three, associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX, and lover of most things epic. View all posts by Brent Osterberg

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