Are You Willing to Live by Your Word?

Proverbs 20:6
Many proclaim themselves loyal,
but who can find one worthy of trust?

When was the last time you kept a promise even when it brought harm to you or your family? That used to be the standard for Christians. A promise made was a promise kept. Regardless. But now, how many of us are actually good to our word? How many of us can be counted on when things get difficult?

Matthew 5:37 says “Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one” (NRSV). In other words, what we say should be what we mean and what we will do. And everything that we do should be done with a heart of generosity. The Lord Jesus taught us “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return” (NRSV). There is so much in this verse. If we are to love our enemies, then surely we are to love our friends as well. And what is love but exactly what the Lord Jesus demonstrated? Sacrificial love, giving of ourselves and holding nothing back.

I think that often we think that we must keep something in reserve in order to provide for ourselves. We must reserve time, effort, resources, money. And yet, if we truly trust God, then obeying His commandments (loving others) will never reduce us to nothing. We will always have whatever we need. And yet, when I look at myself, I see that I am essentially selfish, self-centered, and overly concerned about my welfare and my future. It’s obvious that I don’t trust God as I should because, if I did, I would never worry about having enough “whatever” for the future.

Have you ever thought about that? And then, add this to the mix: What if you simply weren’t here tomorrow? What if you knew that today was your last day here? Would being bereft of anything make you sad or anxious? Of course not. We know that all things are provided in abundance in heaven. Well, the fact is, we don’t know if we have tomorrow. It’s never promised to us. And if we are here, then God has promised to provide whatever we need. The thing is, we don’t want just what we need (because that might be far less than what we really want). We want to have in abundance . . . here. And the stuff here is, well, junk. The Lord Jesus said, “”Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19 NRSV). In essence, the stuff here (which rusts and is consumed by insects) is junk! Why would we want to hang onto, to accumulate junk? And yet . . . we do. We think that we simply cannot live without all the stuff (and relationships and positions of influence and money and . . . ). When the fact of the matter is, what we can’t live without is God, plain and simple. Nothing more, nothing less.

Are we worthy of trust? Are we so willing to live by our word, our promise, that we will never break it? And when we do break it, we will see that breaking as a sin? If there ever was a time when Christians needed to live by the Word (and by their word) it is now when the world seems to be falling apart. What if we’re the only person in our neighborhood, at our company, perhaps even in our family whose word actually means something? And the reason it means something is because we trust the Lord to take care of us. We can reach out sacrificially to others because He’s got our back!