Ecclesiastes 5:4, “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”
In a movie entitled “It could happen to you”, we see officer Charlie (Nicholas Cage) a NY city cop with a heart to serve. At the beginning of the movie he goes to this particular restaurant and buys coffee, upon checking his wallet, he finds that he has only enough change for coffee and nothing on the side to leave for tip. At that moment he remembers he had a lottery ticket in his hands he and his wife had purchased hoping to win. His promise to the waiter was to come back and give her the tip or split with her half of the lottery if they won. The waiter (Yvonne) who had dealt with many people who make promises they can’t keep including the man she was married to had a hard time believing him. She did not see any way possible for this cop to come back however the cop vowed to come back with tip or half of the lottery win. Not long after, he and his wife discovered they had won 4million dollars. 4 million dollars?, half to go to the waitress? he had a chance either to fulfill the promise (vow) or break the promise (vow). His wife tried to discourage him from giving out the 2 million bucks, but his friend who was also a police officer told him to do the right thing. The thought that ran through his mind was either to lie to the waitress and give the tip but then he decided to “keep his word” for that was the kind of person he was. With the word kept, the waitress received 2 million in the midst of his wife’s protest. I’m told the movie was based on a true story.
In as much as I believe that Christians should not gamble because we don’t live by luck but by faith, there is something about the story I just shared that brings the point I would like to make, “making a promise and keeping it“. It’s very easy to make a promise but hard to keep it. You can say you will do something just to be left alone and then find it hard to fulfil it or not do it at all. At times promises are made on the basis of “what it is in for me” and how can I benefit from it. You ask yourself, “will it inconvenience me in any way?” Marriages are based on promises (vows) but if you look at it, performing those vows are hard for many couples because it’s more about them than others. People say something like this, “I don’t feel the love in this marriage like I used to, I don’t get satisfaction like I used to” the word here is “I” (ME, MYSELF and I), it doesn’t matter how the kids will be affected as long as “I” get what “I” want if I have to stay. It’s not about what “I” can do to improve it, it’s a matter of what can “I” gain from it. There is no “I” in teamwork.
Ecclesiastes 5:4, “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it”. What is a vow anyway, it’s an earnest promise to perform a specified act or behave in a certain manner. It has to come from the heart and you’ve counted the cost of performing it. When we make vows to help someone, we do it in the presence of the Lord and unto the Lord. God takes vows seriously and He would rather you make no vow than make it and break it. The scripture also says, do not be slow to fulfill a vow, it needs to be fulfilled on the specified time. You make it, you owe it and should pay it. Charlie from the story made a vow, he had a chance to pay that vow in time as promised and his conviction moved him to perform it and perform it soon. In Matthew 21:28, we are told of two sons who were asked by their father to go and work in the vineyard, the first one said he will not go but after some time he regretted and went and performed it. The second son said he will but did not go. Out of the two boys, only the first one did the will of his father, the one who said no but then later went. 1Corinthians 10:3, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus , Colossians 3:23, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” 3John 1:5, “Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers”. If you said you will do it, take the time to do it, go out of your way to do it, it may not benefit you in anyway but do it, this goes for ministry, work, family, community service you name it. Keep your word. Blessings Ev