How Good Is Your Word
HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORD?
By Rodney W. Francis
One does not have to venture too far into many Christian circles these days to realize that there is much ‘found wanting’ in certain areas, that we feel we must bring to remembrance the need for discipline in our WORDS and ACTIONS. Perhaps it doesn’t mean too much to you about what you say? Should it? By all means, yes. In the Bible the Lord held men responsible to their word. When they made a promise they were expected to fulfil it. There was nothing casual about it. Promises were made to be kept ~ not broken. Consider these words of Jesus: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified (“to set forth as righteous” – Bullinger’s; “to make or declare right” – Young’s; “to render, i.e. show or regard as just or innocent: free, justify, be righteous – Strong’s), and by your words you will be condemned (“to pronounce judgment against, to condemn” – Bullinger’s; “pronounce guilty” – Strong’s)” (Matthew 12:36-37). We stand or fall according to the words we speak. For Christians, our words should be evidence that we are now walking with The Truth, Jesus. There should be no lies, swear words and/or broken promises coming from our lips, for “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). Our words convey what is in our heart. If our word cannot be trusted, or our language is not God-glorifying, then we are revealing to others that we have a shallow experience with Jesus Christ.
We hear so much today about politicians and their broken promises. But are Christians, generally, any better? Stop for a minute or two and ask yourself the question: “How good is my word?”
Have you ever promised to meet a person at a certain time and then never turned up? “But the meeting wasn’t important,” you tell yourself. If it wasn’t important, why make the promise in the first place? Christians are the light and salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13-16) ~ and if we can’t be trusted to keep to our word, then what can we be trusted for?
How long has it been since you promised to do something for someone ~ and still you haven’t got around to doing it? Yes, our intentions are good, but our actions do not always say ‘Amen’ to them.
We may ‘forget’ all the promises we make to do this or that, but God never forgets. And, as His ambassadors, we are expected to be true to His Word. Let us not forget that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of TRUTH. He does not make us untrustworthy. All Christians believe they have the Holy Spirit (although not all agree on the way we receive Him) ~ the fact is it is no use us ‘bragging’ about being Holy Spirit-filled if our WORDS and ACTIONS can be “weighed in the balances (scales) and found wanting” (Daniel 5:27).
Have we made a promise to someone? Then we should fulfil that promise as soon as we can. For our own sake, we need to be a man or woman of our word. It is far better to be a person whose words and actions can be trusted, than to put on a ‘spiritual front’ that leaves others questioning our reliability and genuiness because we can’t be relied upon to do as we say.
This Ministry has been in existence for over 50 years and during that time we have had to deal with all kinds of people in different walks of life. It is a tragic thing to have to say that in not a few cases we have found it much better to have any required work done (printing, maintenance of chattels, etc.) by non-Christians than to wait for the ‘good intentions’ of Christians to come to fruition.
I well remember taking our first printing job to a Christian organisation. My convictions were that it would be far better to give our money to Christian businesses where it could be used again for the cause of the Gospel. But it was not to be. Because the organisation concerned did not like our ‘Pentecostal’ beliefs, they were not willing to print our literature until we were prepared to make changes. We took that tract ~ “Do You Care?” ~ to a worldly printer and he was only too pleased to be of service to us. In fact he printed extra copies for us at no extra charge. Incidentally, that same tract has been the one most in demand of all our tracts ~ many thousands have been printed in two languages. The attitude shown by the Christian organisation has cost them many thousands of dollars’ worth of printing over the years but we hold no grudges at all: in fact we do use Christian printers for all of our printing today.
I wonder how many times this experience has been repeated in other areas of daily dealings in the world of business?
Christian, can you be relied upon to give better service than the world gives?
How good is your word?
Let me give another example where we can be ‘guilty’ of breaking our word. The amount of times Christians have promised to ‘send an offering’ to help the work has been innumerable. Many have even taken the time to write out their promises and post off to us ~ without the promise included. In our early days this used to give us ‘false hopes’ as, instead of looking to God as our Source, we were looking to the persons concerned to keep to their promises. Those persons rarely did! The Lord has taught us to “trust in a Faithful God, rather than in God’s faithful” and these promises don’t influence us anymore. But those promises made should concern those who make them! This Ministry does not entice, suggest or remind people that they should give to ‘keep us going’ ~ people who make such promises to ‘send an offering’ do so of their own desire. For God to bless, promised words must become action. Once we can put our actions ‘where our mouth is’, then we can bless others, and God can bless us.
This article seeks to be constructive, serving as a reminder to all professing Christians that our words should, at all times, be backed-up by our actions. What has been written has been experienced by multitudes of Christian workers around the world. It should not be, and the only way to put a stop to these things is to make very sure we can be relied upon to keep our word, to do as we say.
Have you answered that question yet: “HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORD?”
The answer is: “FOR BY YOUR WORDS YOU WILL BE JUSTIFIED, AND BY YOUR WORDS YOU WILL BE CONDEMNED”
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame” (Romans 10:8-13). (Notice how the heart and mouth work together).