How many promises do we make in a single day?
How many have we broken?
Sometimes the breaking is unavoidable. We make a promise to a spouse, a child, or a friend; then we have to work, we are ill, or something goes wrong with the car, and we just can’t follow through.
Sometimes we just don’t do what we mean to do, although we have the best of intentions.
Then there are other times when we promise serious things; yet we take our promise very lightly, or maybe we just get carried away by emotion or strong desire.
A promise is never one-sided. It always involves another. And when we give it, we give away a piece of ourselves. We make ourselves vulnerable in the giving of a promise because we are fallible human beings and that means we can fail.
And in our failure, we wound another.
Often, we feel terrible when we’ve broken a promise–especially one so important as a marriage vow. When that twinge of conscience moves in, it’s hard to ignore. We feel diminished. We haven’t done what we meant to do.
Some of us chastise ourselves. Some of us ask for forgiveness.
And if we’re the person wounded by the breaking of a promise, we might refuse to forgive betrayal.
Can we remember that we are made in God’s image? If we do remember that, then shouldn’t we act as if we are?
God keeps His promises. I will not violate my covenant
or alter the word that went forth from my lips. –Psalm 89:34
And God also forgives. Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.—Matthew 18:21-22