Words from the Heart for Friday June 18th, 2021
It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.
Ecclesiastes 5:5-6a (NIV)
Making a Vow
In Canada, the Queen is the Head of State; therefore, in order to become citizens, all applicants for citizenship who are 14 years of age or older must swear or affirm to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors. Swearing accommodates those who wish to refer to their religious beliefs in the context of the citizenship ceremony. By affirming, new Canadian citizens make a solemn declaration without reference to any religious text.
Followers of Jesus are called to a life of integrity. An important part of that is keeping our word. Christians do great harm to the name of Christ when we fail to keep our word. Jesus told His followers in Matthew 5:37 to let our yes be yes and our no be no. If we say we will do something, we must do it. If we say no to something, we must follow through on that. The author of Ecclesiastes gives us some practical advice on this matter. In Ecclesiastes 5:5-6a we read: “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.” Some of us are pretty quick to speak. We get excited about something and flippantly make a promise. It just comes out. Later, with sober thought, we realize that we shouldn’t have made such a brash promise. That’s the point that Ecclesiastes is making. There is great wisdom in taking the time to ponder any promise that we make. It is better to keep our mouth closed than to make a promise we cannot keep. Take time to pray before making a vow.
These have been words from the heart.