"It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it." Or as a paraphrase puts it, "It is better to say nothing than to promise something that you don't follow through on."1
Pedro was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place.
Looking up toward heaven, he said, "Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of my life and give up tequila."
Miraculously, a parking place appeared. Pedro looked up again and said, "Never mind—I found one."
We've all heard about fox-hole promises—promises that are made to God when we are caught in a difficult situation or when our back is against the wall. And as soon as the problem passes, the promise we made to God in our hour of desperate need is quickly forgotten.
Unfortunately we are living in a day where the word of far too many people doesn't mean a thing either to God or others. Commitments are made and forgotten. Promises are made and readily broken. The ability to keep one's word, promises, and commitments are a mark of character. And as Michael Josephson constantly reminds us, "character counts!"
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to become a man/woman of noble character who always keeps his/her commitments and promises to you and to everyone else. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ecclesiastes 5:5 (NIV and NLT).