The new year is upon us and it time for us to make those "I promise I'm gonna do" resolutions. I guess in a way it makes us feel good when we at least say we are gonna try and do things that would seem to better our lives. But in the end it only leaves us disappointed and betrayed by the words of our mouth. As Christians we often boast many high and mighty things, only to do none of them or maybe some of them but either half way or regretting it, and deep down wish we wouldn't have said anything. It is always better to stay silent and be slow to speak and quick to listen. To many times we Christians may get caught up in a spiritual moment feeling good and blessed and in the zeal of the moment we begin to spout off vows and promises and pledges that normally we wouldn't do or even know we can't keep.
Here is what Matthew 5:33-37 says concerning vows and pledges "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old,'You shall not swear falsely,but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool;nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,'be 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Further more take a look at some of these examples why we should be very cautious in what we say.
From the above verses we can see that vows lay a trap for us in creating a burden that we, in our weakness and finiteness cannot keep. There are a number of reasons for this:
1. Vows are about actions in the future, and the future is something over which we have little or no control.
2. Vows are solemn and sacred and involve powerful heavenly realities that we should not mess with.
3. Some people e.g. the Pharisees uses vows to make people trust them so they can trick and cheat others.
4. Breaking a vow can result in judgment (James) and the destruction of the work of our hands (Ecclesiastes).
5. We may make a vow that depends on the actions of another person, and that person may act in such a way to make fulfilling the vow impossible - such as a vow to be responsible for another person's debts.
6. Our circumstances may change so that we cannot keep the vow or pledge e.g. we may lose our job and be unable to pay the pledge to the church.
7. We may construct the vow in absolute terms using words such as 'always" or "never" and in reality life is too complex to say we will "always" do X or "never" do Y.
8. We may make an open-ended vow that traps us with its consequences using terms such as "whatever"
Here is what Ecclesiastes 5: 1-7 has to say. 1 Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. 2 Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. 3 For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool's voice is known by his many words. 4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed- 5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. 6 Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse[a] and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.
So saints of God be full of zeal for the Lord,defend the Gospel,walk in His Word and live by faith.Remember what the Apostle Paul said,For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.New American Standard Bible (©1995)