Here is a challenge for mainly our generation (20s, 30s) and the one after. As unreliability, inconstancy creep into all of our lives and our churches, I think we need to reflect on whether these characteristics display God’s character in any way. Many of us say we will do things but then change our mind and cancel our plans or commitments last minute. I often almost know that whatever I have put in my diary, the majority of 20s 30s might/could/will cancel using all sorts of reasons/excuses. Yes, there are reasons that are understandable and if I am ill then I will also need to cancel my plans but often we just nod along and accept if someone changes their mind and cancels on us even though we all know deep down that many of us are hurt from this and some of us are losing faith in each other as well.
Perhaps partly one of the reasons to blame for this is social media. We feel that we are connected and we are in touch already so we don’t need to make as much effort in person. However, social media will never satisfy the need for human interaction and our desire to love and to be loved, we need to be there for people and support them in person and not just in writing.
Lets reflect on the following a bit. Is God reliable and if so shouldn’t we be and how do we want others to perceive us? Someone who we can trust and rely on or someone who is undependable, unreliable and/or dishonest? For God is and has always been reliable, consistent trustworthy and true.
There are lots of Bible verses to cover this topic, check them out 1 John 2:5 (5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.), Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 (5 It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.) , James 5:12 (12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” ) Deuteronomy 23:23 (‘You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.’) etc…
Have we fallen into the trap of saying things that we don’t keep, have we promised things and then left people hanging, are we consistent, do we finish what we start, do we put God first in all of our decisions, are we constantly coming up with excuses to our sisters and brothers and to God? If our answer is yes to any of these questions, then the time has come to reflect and to transform these unhealthy habits. There are so many helpful advice in the Bible and perhaps we don’t always want to hear them but they are for our own benefit and for the benefit of others.
Lets not allow these characteristics to come into our churches and our lives but lets show an example to the world with being known for being trustworthy and for having integrity.
‘You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.’ Deuteronomy 23:23