Every person in the world has been given an empty promise. Someone has told you they would do something and then they didn’t. Each new broken promise adds scar tissue that builds up in the form of mistrust, cynicism and pessimism. Faith in anything, or especially anyone is in short supply.
When you are repeatedly disappointed by empty promises it’s hard to recognize truth, honor and faithfulness when it stands right in front of you.
I’ve been both the giver and receiver of un-kept promises. As the recipient I haven’t spent much time looking for “good” reasons I was lied to, I just felt the pain. An un-kept promise is a lie. The pain I feel is much less about what wasn’t done as what was done. The person’s lack of commitment is much worse than them not doing a chore or showing up for a meeting.
As the liar, who delivered an un-kept promise, I have typically had pretty good reasons… and I do focus on them to give myself a break. I don’t believe I’ve ever made a promise to anyone that I intentionally planned to break, but with each new broken promise, future promises become much less meaningful.
Bottom line? Don’t make promises unless you feel certain you can keep them. Stuff happens. Sometimes we have a flat tire or get the flu so are unable to show up. But if you are honest with yourself, those things can usually be predicted and prevented. When there is an unexpected crisis that you can’t work around, it is the rarest of occasions.
When people are almost always true to their word, we allow for the irregular blunder. That’s human. When people almost always don’t keep promises, we lose trust. Sadly, being trustworthy is becoming a recessive character trait.
Even if you were raised with constant empty promises, there is a readily available role mode. Jesus always keeps His promises. His words are never empty. Here is a link to some of God’s promises to remind you that it’s ok to let the doubt go and embrace trust again.