The other weekend I had the privilege of burying my parents at sea. It was the fulfillment of a promise that I had made almost 7 years ago to my dad on the day before he died. Originally I was going to bury him a couple of weeks after he passed away, but my friend’s boat was out for repairs and we were leaving to move across country in a few days. My mother had advanced Alzheimer’s at the time and I knew she wouldn’t live too long, so I decided to wait until she passed away and bury them both at the same time.
Keeping promises is a big deal. It’s about honor, integrity and respect. The blessing is that when you keep your promises you’ll also have peace of mind and confidence. Maybe it’s starting a regular exercise plan, signing up for a class to learn more about your favorite hobby, having a girls weekend away, getting a makeover or joining a Bible study group – whatever it is, take action on it and commit yourself to following through on your promise because you’re worth it!
Here are some thoughts on how promises impact your life:
Promises take up mental real estate. While I knew I had every intention of following through on my promise to bury my dad at sea, I had no control over how long it would be until the Alzheimer’s finally ended my mom’s life. The crazy thing is, waiting to bury my dad was something that weighed on me. I didn’t feel guilty, but there was unfinished business in my life and it was like an open file running in the background of my subconscious. There was such peace and joy when I emptied the last of my dad’s ashes right next to my mom’s out there in the beautiful blue-green water. I felt released, as the promise had been fulfilled.
Promises reveal character. Pushing past inconvenience, time factors, money constraints and good old-fashioned selfishness to serve and honor others brings the reward of integrity. Keeping promises, especially when it costs you something to do so, is the best path to growth and character building. The truth is you can’t buy a good reputation – you have to live it out and keeping promises is one way of doing that. A person of good character only makes genuine promises they know that have the ability to keep.
Promises indicate respect. If you’ve ever had a promise broken or left unfulfilled you know how badly it can hurt. There is a distinct lack of respect or value associated with broken promises. And one of the most important people you make promises to is yourself. Ironically while you may bend over backwards to honor your promises to others, you may neglect the very promises you make to yourself and it is damages your self-esteem in the long run. Honoring the promises you make to yourself is a powerful confidence builder because it proves that you know you are worthy of the promise you made.
Spiritual Perspective: I love the words of Psalm 119:50 from The Message Bible* which says, “These words hold me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me.” The word rejuvenate means to revitalize, regenerate, reawaken and breath new life, and that’s the power and promise of God’s Word. So be encouraged with the knowledge that God will perfect and complete His promises. He will redeem, renew and restore the broken walls of your life and give you the strength and wisdom you need. God will not give up on you; He will fulfill His promises and purposes in and through you.
Renew, Refresh and Refocus: Where are unfulfilled promises taking up mental real estate in your life? What promises have you made to yourself that you need to begin taking action on? How has your character been shaped by the promises you’ve kept?
Keep the promises you’ve made to yourself and start living with purpose now! I value the opportunity to partner with you and help you get the confidence and clarity you need to follow through on the dreams and goals that God has placed in your heart. If you’re ready to get started, connect with me today and let’s discuss how I can help you.
*Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.
© Copyright 2012 Bridget Haymond. All rights reserved.
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