The Power of Your Word

I know someone who says …

If we make a promise we should keep it even to our own disadvantage.

I have a friend who believes this.  He sold his house but there was a long delay in purchasing the house he had arranged to buy, in the meantime house prices went up considerably and he found that he would have to pay much more for the house.  He could have easily re-sold his own house at a higher price but because he’d given his word he decided to suffer the loss in favour of keeping his word and proceeded with the sale of his own house at the same price as originally agreed.

Some years ago in my stockbroking days I was impressed by the Stock Exchange motto “Dictum Meum Pactum” meaning my word is my bond.  In fact in those days the whole operation operated on that basis.  At one point part of my role was to confirm with representatives of other firms the trading deals that had been done the previous day by word.  When there was a dispute it was sorted out in the same gentlemanly way.

I am sure many would say my friend with the house was foolish and the system of operating on word only is outdated.  On the other hand, I and many others find the idea of being able to trust what somebody says because they say what they mean and mean what they say as being very attractive.

Is it possible to operate in this way in this present day?

I know someone who can help us achieve that, but of course it comes with a price …


Keeping promises2

Psalm 15:4 Keeping your word

4 comments for “The Power of Your Word

  1. Wilco vanKleef-Bolton
    July 18, 2014 at 5:14 am

    I’m just wondering and thinking out loud, can we be faithful to our Father if we are not faithful (by showing integrity) to one another?

    Integrity for me is very key, whether you believe or not. Before you commit yourself to something it is important to ask yourself if you are able to fulfil that commitment and seek God in that perhaps. I think this goes for committing on all level, saying you will put the trash out, honour an arrangement or saying that you will pray for someone.

    • Keith
      July 20, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      I think you’ve put your finger on the root of this conversation which is integrity. If you have integrity that you will pay attention what you commit to and honor your commitments. To be a man or woman of integrity means, by definition, that you do what you say you are going to do – even to your own hurt – which was the original point John was making in his blog entry.

      In my understanding of Scripture, the development of integrity doesn’t require us doing everything perfectly, but it does require an honest accounting. If what we commit do becomes impossible, then we take responsibility, repent and communicate to the ones affected. And then there is the maturing of integrity that comes with experience in living by the Spirit. Funny how what I thought was integrity fades into gray when the light of God shines through the years. These days I find myself praying – “Lord, I want to be someone in whom you are pleased. By grace, my words will match my actions. I humble myself and ask for more grace in my life that I might please you in this matter.”

      In my own strength, I cannot achieve a life of integrity but I know He can do it in me. And for that I praise Him!

  2. Keith
    July 14, 2014 at 3:52 am

    The key to Abraham’s faith was that he believed that God had the power to do what He promised (Rom 4:21″ That isn’t always the case with me. Just last Saturday, at the end of a long work day, I received a text from Cherry that the kids were praying that I would be home soon and help finish the swing set I had started constructing the weekend before. I was excited to do that and texted back that I was standing with them in prayer and that I would be home soon.

    The next thing I knew – a new job appeared on my tablet that prevented me from getting home until 9 pm. The kids were in bed when I finally dragged home. In this case, I didn’t have the power to do what I had promised. When they woke up, they found me working on the swing set. I apologized to them and we had a great day finishing it. I think I got a hundred kisses when it was finally done.

    So my journey with this is that I find myself much slower to promise, believe that it is very important to follow through even if it is to your disadvantage but there are times I just don’t have the power to follow through. In times like that I am grateful we can repent and ask forgiveness – all of which reflects on the One who always has the power to do what He promises!

    “Oh for grace to trust Him more!”

  3. Mark McGrath
    Mark McGrath
    July 13, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Taking integrity to this very personal level is huge. It should make us be careful with what we commit to as well as release our faith to follow up with what we say. If we are doing what we believe God is leading us to do, we can trust Him to take care of us in the process.

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