8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day. Psalm 61:8
Have you ever been asked by a preacher to stand up or come forward if you are willing to do xyz? For instance, he just gave a moving message on local outreach, and then says, “if you’re willing to commit just one hour a week in reaching out to your neighbors, stand with me.” It’s usually presented in a way that makes you feel guilty if you don’t commit to it (and it’s spoken much more eloquently than I’ve presented here).
I rarely if ever make those kinds of stands or commitments even if the entire congregation is standing around me. Why? I always take my cue from Ecclesiastes 5:5 “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” Some could argue that I’m not allowing the Holy Spirit to move, and they may have a point. However, two months later when most people have forgotten what they’ve committed to, I’ve not broken a promise. Which is worse?
You see, I have a tendency to forget what I’ve promised. It’s not that I don’t want to fulfill it, it’s just that I forget. Or perhaps I’d like to do what is asked but I’m not gifted in that area.
I believe we have to be very careful what we promise to the Lord. Otherwise we get caught up in a works-oriented life that is not joyful nor honoring to God. I’m not at all saying NOT to promise anything, just be careful how much you promise.