Promises #3 – Only Yes or No
Ryan Story | Student Pastor
When I first started at The River Church, my role was “Student Disicpler.” Now discipler is not even a word, but nonetheless, that is what Pastor Jim called me. One of my major responsibilities was to seek out high school and middle school boys who were looking to take their walk with Jesus further. I had one middle school boy who taught me a valuable lesson. After the first year was concluding, I told a few of the middle school boys that I would take them to Cooks Farm Dairy for some ice cream. I had the best intentions in mind. I knew where all of them lived, all of their parents were on board, and I just needed to pick a day. Sadly, the busyness of life never allowed me to fulfill my promise. Now one would think that a 12-year-old’s memory would be foggy, but not this dude. Every so often, I would hear “you haven’t taken us out to ice cream.”
As people, we always have a tendency to overcommit to things. I know I do that with people in the church, my wife, and I will probably do that with my own kids someday. I feel that people, at times, have very good intentions. When I said I would take those boys out, I meant it and wanted to do so. Jesus says, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil” (Matthew 5:37). I feel that we all need to look at our commitment level in our lives. Sadly, I know when I start to overcommit, I commit to the things that do not matter as much. When I overcommit I commit to things that are not always bad, but they are not what is best. Jesus says it perfectly (as He always does); do not say “yes” unless you can fulfill that promise. Some of us work demanding jobs, go to school, and live lives where there is a ton to do. Take some time next time you make a promise to realize there are only two options to that choice. Yes or no. I feel we all live in the I said yes, but I will get around to it. I tell my wife I am going to do the laundry, eventually. That is not exactly living up to that promise. I am sure you can think of a few of those scenarios in your life.
That boy is now going into 10th grade. Every summer the two of us set a few weeks aside to do a Bible study. I was tired of feeling like a man who was all talk and just promised things. I am glad he always brought up that I was not true to my word. This year on our last meeting I took him to lunch and then to Cooks Farm Dairy. As I was dropping him off at his house, he looked at me, said “about time”, and then said “thanks.” I do not know why I felt God kind of give me a pat on the back and say, “He will never forget this story.” Take some time today to think about some of the promises that you have made. Take a lesson from God that if He always delivers on His promise that means you have to as well. Remember we will be remembered; hopefully, we are all remembered as someone who keeps our promises.