Have you ever met someone who you knew always kept their word? A person who made a promise to you or someone else, and you knew that they would keep it even if it was harder to keep than they thought?
Or, conversely, have you ever met a person who always seemed to be breaking their word? They would say that they would do something and it would never come to pass, no matter how small the something was?
I think that we would all agree that we like working with folks that fall into the first category. We like knowing that when we are talking with someone we can trust them; we want to take them at their word.
Description of the Righteous
Psalm 15 is introduced as a Psalm of David, and it starts by describing how righteous people act. In verse four we get to the section where David describes the righteous person as a man who, “Swears to his own hurt and does not change.”
What a remarkable description of someone who seeks to live his life for Christ. A person who, even after giving his word on an issue and hard times arise, still keeps his promise.
So often in our lives we tend to break our word because of unforeseen challenges. Things get hard and, because we didn’t plan for them to get hard, we feel justified in breaking our promise. This, however, is not how righteous people of God are described in scripture. We are called to be people who keep our word, even when it hurts us.
We are called to be like this because this is a defining aspect of love. By keeping your word, even when it hurts, you are demonstrating that you love others more than you love yourself. You are willing to be hurt for the benefit of others.
This may not be the love that our society talks about, but this is the love to which Christ calls us. He calls us to love beyond ourselves, to put others first, to consider them more important than ourselves (Phil. 2:3-4).
The Ending Promise
Psalm 15 ends with a great promise. It says, “He who does these things will never be shaken” – wow, some powerful words for sure! So, just after admitting that you might get hurt for keeping your word, God promises that you will not be shaken. You will survive if you keep your word, even if you are hurt in the short term.
Call to Change
So, the challenge today is to make sure that we are growing to become people of our word, not because of some stoic responsibility to be a man or woman who is dependable, but because it is the loving thing to do. It shows that you have love for others, and not just for yourself.
So today, be a man or woman of your word, even if it leads to your own hurt.