Some of you know that my husband and I traveled to Paris for Valentines’ Day a couple of years back. We spent one wonderful week traversing the city, attempting to see a smidgeon of all that historic and lovely province had to offer. One of the more well known locales was the the love lock bridge. Couples would attach a lock ascribed with their names and attach it to the bridge railings as a sign of love that would always be tightly cinched, flourishing and eternal.
There was so much love affixed to the bridge railing that a piece of it collapsed into the Seine River beneath it, spurring city officials to begin removing tons of metal that signified lasting love off the bridge banisters forever.
Such imagery is a picture of love in real time. Promises made between couples that over time, fell apart, disintegrated and dropped into the abyss of lost loves. Now this composition isn’t really about relational foibles. Rather it is a discourse on how easy it is to make a promise, break a promise and the importance of keeping a promise.
If you have ever had someone break a promise made to you that was important, you know the anger/disappointment/hurt/ that can result even if the promise made was over something others might consider quite trivial. Keeping ones’ word carries real significance. If you say you will/can, but do not, who can trust such a person? Giving your word and following through is a trait that even God says is important to Him. Scripture notes that if you would not keep a promise(vow), do not declare that you will. (Ecclesiastes 5:5)
So, if you can’t fulfill a debt, do not borrow. Every want is a not a need.
If you aren’t willing to do the work to remain married to a less than perfect man/woman, flee the bonds of matrimony.
If you are too busy to speak at a meeting, help volunteer at an event, pick up someone else’s slack at work, opt out until you can.
If your bank balance is a little iffy, hold back on the effusive agreement to donate to the cause. Wait until your budget has some substance.
This is not to say that one may not fail at some of our agreed to responsibilities. It does speak to the fact that we should assess what our real capabilities and time constraints are before letting our ego agree to take on tasks that we can’t finalize. Our inability to follow through lessens the respect that others have of us and our dependability. And, we all know how we feel when someone who has promised us something does not follow through. Really, stop saying you’re going to do things that you aren’t! Please….
One anonymous phrase I read said that, “People with good intentions make promises. But people with good character keep them“.
Boomer wisdom encourages you to only promise to do that which you are able and willing to discharge, taking into consideration that it may require a sacrificial effort. For as in relationships, keeping a promise made is one in which self absorption and the lack of a sincere evaluation of the motive behind it, can be a deterrent to the vows’ completion.
Here’s to a renewed effort to not only keep our promises, but to work hard at not making any that we can’t reasonably fulfill.
Blessings to you all!