Paying Your Vows

             The story is told of a lady who had a circle of friends for whom she really wanted to buy Christmas presents.  She was so busy with all the holiday preparations that she failed to get to the mall to purchase those gifts.  As time was running out she decided just to send really nice cards to all her friends.  When  she saw a box of 50 lovely cards – all the same – she quickly purchased the box, signed and addressed them and mailed them with a sigh of relief.  As the New Year came, she took time to pick up one of the left over cards and read the message inside.  It said, in a little rhyme, “This Christmas card is just to say, A little gift is on its way.”  Oops!

             Perhaps we should take time to slow down and think about the messages our lives are sending out.  Do we make impulsive promises we are too busy to carry out?  How about when the Lord is urging us to witness for Him in word or deed and we say OK, but then forget or just don’t get to it?  Remember, He says it is better to carefully consider and count the cost before we make a vow rather than to rashly promise and then fail to fulfill it.  It may be better to do a surprise act of kindness, than promise and fail to deliver on that promise.

               Read the story in Judges chapter 11 of the warrior, Jephthah, and his daughter for a dramatic illustration of a vow that carried severe consequences and ask the Lord to help you to let “your yea be yea and your nay, nay.”  

                We read in Ecclesiastes 5: 4-6,  “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it;  for He has no pleasure in fools.  Pay what you have vowed.  It is better not to vow, than to vow and not pay.  Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error.  Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?”