“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” – Matthew 5:37 (ESV)
I recently went through a major event in my life, and I was counting on the people who had offered help. But not one of those supposedly well-meaning people followed through. Every person was busy with something else. Thankfully, at the last minute, a cousin traveled quite a distance to help me in my time of need.
I often wonder why people say, “If you need help, let me know.” I understand things often come up in busy lives, and the individual(s) may not be able to help when there is a need, but I find, more often than not, the words, “If you need help, let me know,” are just words. They don’t mean a thing when spoken. Ecclesiastes 5:5 says, “It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.”
Our world has become selfish. I find empty promises are frequently made by our friends, family, loved ones, and our church families. Empty promises are promises made that are not fulfilled. That’s discouraging and unfortunate. Keeping your word lays a foundation of trust, respect, love, and kindness. When you keep promises made, then you are showing the love of Jesus. Think about if Jesus broke His promises to us. In my time of need, I was hurting, not only physically but emotionally, when those promises were unfulfilled. I became discouraged.
I think about the story of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37, about a traveling Jewish man attacked and robbed by thieves. Two religious leaders passed the man by without giving a helping hand, but the Samaritan reached out and helped him. He bandaged his wounds, put the man on his donkey, and took him to an inn where he paid the innkeeper to care for him. The Samaritan interrupted his schedule to help the man in need. That is compassion. Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”
Think about what you say to others. Remind yourself not to make promises you have no intention of keeping. Because in doing so, you are hurting the people you are offering help to more than they already are.
Heavenly Father, open our eyes to the needs of others. When we offer help to those in need, show us the importance of following through with that commitment. Spewing kind words without meaning them is not fulfilling what God intended. Help us to show Your love through our words and promises. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by: Laurie Davis