Spotlight 11/2018: Keeping our promises
Sometimes it is hard to keep our promises. This applies to both public promises as well as to those we make in the privacy of our room. “I want to strive to keep my promises,” District Apostle Rainer Storck from Germany says.
In the Divine Service Guide, the Chief Apostle explained at the beginning of the year that faithfulness to Christ also means that we keep our promises.
This reminded me of the confirmation vow I made more than forty years ago. Even after all this time, it is still valid, and I must evaluate to what extent I still hold what I promised then. And what I notice is that there is constant need for improvement.
In the course of my life, I have often stood or knelt at the altar of God in order to receive a ministry or a commission. At every ordination or appointment, I always gave my wholehearted yes. Over time, however, I had to realise that it was not always so easy. Sometimes you have to struggle to keep a promise and really push yourself to serve the Lord and your neighbour.
For me it is also important to keep the promises I made to God in secret, in the privacy of my room. For example, there was a time I was going through a difficult patch, and I just could not get out it by myself. Several times a day, I would pester God to help me and be gracious. I also promised Him then that I would make an effort to give Him a special offering or assume an additional task. I have often experienced that God helps in such situations, and that things improved either for me or the person I was praying for. But now I had to deliver on the promise I had made. But there is the likelihood that we forget all about our promises after a while, and then it is business as usual. This must not happen!
And finally, we also have to keep the promises that we made to our neighbour. I am thinking about marriage vows for example. On the day of my wedding, I promised my wife before God and the congregation that I would do everything to make her happy. I have to constantly ask myself whether this is still the case after all these years. The expectations I have for myself are to also keep that promise.
Considering all this, the Chief Apostle’s annual motto “Faithful to Christ” could not have come at a better time. I have a lot to do, and I want to strive to keep the promises I have made.
Photo: Marcel Felde