"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
Romans 16:17
Should Christians Keep Their Word?
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: Nov 11, 2011
Updated Aug 28, 2013

Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
-Psalm 141:3

I am convinced that most Christians do not understand that when we give our word to someone else that we will do something, according to the Word of God, we made a promise to do what we said we would do, and if we do NOT keep our word, we are liars This is a Biblical offense that God takes very seriously, and this is not being addressed in the grand majority of churches.
Potential Lies:
I'll do it.
Sure, I'll pick you up.
I'll bring it over.
You can have it.
Yeah, I'll be there.
You're like family to us.
I'll support you.
I'm going to give you this.

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him... a lying tongue... A false witness that speaketh lies...
-Proverbs 6:16-19

First, we need to recognize that God hates ALL lies. Just as your color of skin is irrelevant (white/black-Acts 17:26), your color of lie is irrelevant (white/black). We may think we are justified in telling certain lies, but God's Word condemns all lies.
(Read "Did God Justify Lies?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
-Matthew 5:37

For example, contracts are evil according to God's Word. If you give your word you will do something, but you have to sign a contract to make sure you keep your word, that is evil. I understand contracts are a part of our wicked society today, and it's almost impossible to avoid them, but it's because we have abandoned the Bible and can no longer be trusted to do what we say we will do, as God commands. A contract seeks the government for aid in making sure we keep our word, instead of fearing the Lord God and keeping His commandments.

Our country has fallen into a nation of contracts and lawyers due to a lack of attention to the Scriptures. Ask your grandparents: Decades ago, your word and a handshake was all that was required. No contracts. No lawyers. However, as America strays from the Word of God and liberty anchored in our Lord Jesus Christ, and we forget the importance of our word, we no longer speak the language of the Bible, but now we must be ruled and enslaved by men and money. Our agreement to do something in America has to be bound by signed contract and law (and I've watched Christians use lawyers to communicate with each other) because we cannot be trusted to keep our word as God has commanded us and shown us by His example.

Let your 'yes', be yes. Let your 'no', be no. If your 'yes' to someone turns out to be a no, when you already told them 'yes', that is EVIL. If your 'no' to someone turns out to be a yes, when you already told them 'no', that is EVIL.
If you tell someone, "I am going to do this," and you don't do it, you LIED! That makes you a LIAR. We have all done this to someone else, and others have done this to us.

From personal experience, I have traveled and spoken to Christian churches in multiple states, and most of the time we have a handful of Christians come up afterwards and give us their word they are going to volunteer, donate, etc, but only a tiny percetage of them have done what they said they would do. There is no sugar-coated way around it: They LIED in front of God and everyone else.

In the book of Acts, God judged those who lied to give themselves a benevolent social status. A man named Ananias, and his wife Sapphira, sold some property, kept part of the money, and gave another portion of the money to the Church of Christ. This was pefectly fine for them to do, but they LIED about it and said they gave everything to the Church of Christ.

Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
-Acts 5:3-5

God is not joking around with this subject. Ananias and Sapphira were probably saved Christians, but they lied, and God made an example of them to us. Our Lord God HATES lies, and we need to take this with the upmost seriousness.

Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God [is] in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
-Ecclesiastes 5:2

God's Word is warning us that our much speaking will get us into trouble, and we shouldn't speak out so quickly and rashly, otherwise we can get ourselves in trouble.

Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?
-Ecclesiastes 5:5-6

It's better that you don't give your word if you're not going to to keep it. Giving your word without keeping it is nothing more than flattering oneself. Ananias lied about part of the money he gave to the church because he wanted himself to seem more benevolent than he really was, and every time we tell a lie, and give our word about something that we don't do, we simply are trying to make ourselves seem more benevolent than we really are, and that's wickedness in the sight of God.

A common excuse: "Well, I didn't say 'I promise I'll do it'..." Did you know Jesus Christ never said those words either? He let his 'yea', be yea.

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
-Matthew 18:11

He said He was going to Save the lost, and He did so. He didn't have to "promise" anyone anything. He simply did what He said He was going to do, and yet, when God says He is going to do something, it is STILL called a promise:

Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?
-Psalm 77:8

If you tell a child 'no', and the child cries, and you give into that crying and give them a 'yes'--you LIED! That makes you a LIAR. That is EVIL according to the Bible. As a parent, your child belongs to the Lord, but He has temporarily trusted that child in your care to raise up a Godly seed. Your child gets the impression of God by your actions, and if you allow your 'yes' and 'no' to be bartered, the child will get the impression that the Lord allows His 'yea' and 'nay' to be bartered.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
-Proverbs 22:6

As a sinner Saved by Jesus Christ, I try my best not to be too harsh on one sin, without remembering my own (what evil befalls me is only reaping what evil I have sown in my life -- Gal 6:7), so I don't want to give the impression that I am guiltless in this area, and we ALL need to take this much more seriously. When I was a child, my mother repeatedly taught me the most valuable lesson of my life, "You have nothing of value on this earth besides your word." She spoke those words to me many times as I was growing up. Today, I am extremely careful about what I tell someone I am going to do, and my wife and I both struggle and fight to keep our word no matter what obstacles we face, just as our Heavenly Father does for us, and if everyone did the same thing, we would have no need of lawyers or contracts in this nation.

Countless times, my wife and I have been hurt by our fellow Christians who have taken no consideration of the things they have told us. We have taken great pains and effort to keep our word to them, and have gone out of our way in prepartion for them to keep their word to us, but when the time came, and our hard work and money were poured into what they told us they would do, we would find out they don't even remember telling us they made us a promise, and most of the time, they don't even care. How is it we expect to be able to study and understand God's Word, and to do that which He has called us to do, when we can't even do the simple things we tell one another we will do?

A lying tongue hateth [those that are] afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
-Proverbs 26:28

This verse says that if we lie, we hate the person affected by our lie. It does not matter what we say we feel, or the excuses we make for ourselves, this verse is very clear that if we lie, we hate the person affected by the lie. Let's look at what Jesus Christ said about hate:

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
-1 John 3:15

If we lie to our brother, we hate our brother, and that makes us guilty of murder in the eyes of God. Lying is equivalent to murder, according to God's Word.
Christians would be in heavy grief if one of their congregation was murdered in their church, but lies are told repeatedly within their walls, and no one bats an eyelash over it. God takes this VERY seriously, but I am convinced that lying (i.e. keeping our word) has become one of the most overlooked and ignored sins in today's American congregations.

Just as God is perfect with every word He speaks, should we also not be careful about every word that comes from our mouths?

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
-Matthew 12:36

As a Christian, do you take caution about every word you say? Are you keeping your word to everyone to speak to? When you tell someone you will do something, how seriously do you take it? Do you always do what you say you're going to do with the upmost seriousness and standards that God has put on the truth?
Does the Lord Jesus Christ make these excuses with us?

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
-Matthew 5:48

Though we as Christians are quick to condemn adultry, homosexuality, theft, murder, etc, we seem to gloss over our lies. With so many Christians breaking their word, it's no wonder the secular world looks on us as hypocrites. We are hypocrites. I could many stories about the lies I have been told by Christians, and how many of them have cost my wife and I so much time, money, and effort because they gave us their word and they did not keep it, and I forgave these people unbeknown to them, but Christians need to understand what they say will have consequences, both as a curse in this life, and destroying our reward in eternity.

Let's start looking inward, and next time, before we tell someone we are going to do something, let's carefully consider God's Word, and be not rash with our mouths. Keeping our word should be as important us as the ten commandments, because through keeping our word, we keep His Word, and the love of God is perfected.

But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
-1 John 2:5

If you want to share the Gospel with a friend, the one of the best ways to start doing it is by going out of your way to keep your word. By doing so, you set a rare example in today's world, and provide a good, righteous example to your Christian brethren.

The elders which are among you I exhort... Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over [God's] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
-1 Peter 5:1-3

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