Thursday, February 27, 2014

Your Word is Your Bond

"Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.' But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' [or] 'No, no'; and anything beyond these is of evil." Matthew 5:33-37
An oath, or a vow, is a solemn affirmation, declaration or promise, often made with an appeal to God to witness to and for the truth of what is affirmed (or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says), regarding a future action or behaviour. The appeal to God in an oath implies that the person imprecates His vengeance and renounces His favour if the declaration is false, or if the declaration is a promise, the person invokes the vengeance of God if he should fail to fulfill it. A false oath is called perjury.

Treaties are agreements, arrangements, contracts, leagues or promises between two or more parties that contain and are built upon oaths. How many treaties have been made throughout history only to be broken by the very people and/or nations who signed them to begin with? Clearly the oath was not worth the paper it was written on.

A man is not a man if he cannot give his word and keep it, regardless of the paperwork that may accompany it. A man should not need papers drawn up in order for him to keep his word, or to make sure that he keeps his word. If history has anything to teach us, it is that regardless of the papers signed by men, they have often gone back on their word. So what purpose did that paper serve? Not even courts seem to uphold papers anymore and ensure their fulfillment.

A man who cannot keep his word is a lying, cheating coward. How many men today are not real men? How many men have never been men? Being a man is not measured by how tough you are, or think you are. You could be the toughest guy around and you would still be nothing more than a brute with a superiority complex trying to compensate for something else. Being a man is about giving your word, meaning your word, and holding to your word no matter the cost to yourself. Your character, your honour, your dignity, your measure, your worth—everything—is made known to all by whether you can give your word and keep it or not.

If you make a oath, you ought to be man enough to keep it. Jephthah was (Judg. 11). He vowed that if God would give the Ammonites into his hand, he would offer up whatever came out of the doors of his house when he returned as a burnt offering. When he returned home, his only child, a daughter, greeted him at the doors. If Jephthah would have known the Law a little better, he would have known that God does not delight in such things (Lev. 18:21; 20:2-5; Deut. 12:31; 18:10). Nevertheless, it illustrates the point that Jephthah was a man of his word.

When you say your vows on your wedding day, you should be man enough to mean those words and to keep them at all costs. Failure to do so is perjury of your vows. When you sign treaties with other people, companies, nations, etc., you should be man enough to keep them. Failure to do so is perjury of your treaty. One of the problems plaguing our countries these days is too few men acting like and being men. You should not have to make oaths and sign papers. Instead of having to make oaths, your word should be a simple "Yes" or "No" answer. If you say "Yes," be a man and uphold that commitment. Your word should be your bond, and it should never be broken. Whenever you give your word to something, you should be a man and hold to that word.