Keeping our word

Commitment. It’s a rarity these days, along with other things like common sense, respect, and on and on I could go. You get the picture.
People aren’t committed to their marriages, their jobs, their friendships or hardly anything it seems. Being committed also boils down to keeping your word.
Webster gives the definition as: the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.; a pledge or undertaking; an engagement or obligation which restricts freedoms or actions.
Once we agree to do something, we should do it to the best of our ability. I realize that things happen beyond our control and sometimes in spite of our best efforts we can’t keep commitments. I’m preaching to myself as well. I’ve had to miss a couple meetings I had committed to attend because of deaths, sickness and situations out of my control. Things just happen in life and sometimes they happen over several weeks and you have to miss things, but that’s not always the case. I mean I couldn’t attend a meeting when I couldn’t stop puking my guts out, now could I. I’m not talking about those kind of situations, I’m talking about those commitments you could keep but you just decide you want to do something else or your priorities are out of whack.
Keeping our commitments is keeping our word which is the essence of integrity. Honoring our commitments is something we should do even when it is difficult, expensive or inconvenient. When we don’t, the cost is ultimately more expensive than doing so in a number of ways.
I believe one of the many reasons our country is falling apart is failure to keep our word and follow through on commitments. If people can’t trust your word, why should they trust you?
Keeping our word is not just about respecting others, it’s also about respecting yourself.
When we tell someone we are going to do something, that gives an expectation. Doing what you say you are going to do, builds trust which gives us security and builds healthy relationships.
Our words are powerful. They can build or tear down and we need to do what we say we are going to do.
Politicians have added to our country’s dilemma. They rarely, if ever keep campaign promises and instead of holding them accountable, we make jokes about it and don’t expect anything more of them.
If you aren’t sure you can do something, then say something like you will try or if possible. That keeps from other people getting let down totally if they understand you might not be able to do it but will try.
When you say absolutely you will do it, then if something happens and you can’t, let them know so they won’t have expectations.
As I age, I find that I sometimes forget about things a lot easier but that does not let me off the hook from doing what I have said I will do. I have to find ways to remind myself so I can remember, or ask others to remind me.
Others are watching us and our children see when we do not keep our word, so what example are we setting for them? People learn whether you are dependable or not when you keep your word.
Sometimes people need to know for sure if you are coming to an event, so they can plan on food or materials. Other times they may need to know if the location will be large enough. It’s just common courtesy. There are times when we just need to say “no” we can’t do something, no matter how much we would like to do it.
In our crazy, mixed up society, those who can need to rise above the fray and be people who keep our word and stand for integrity. God always keeps His word to us and as Christ followers, we need to keep our word. “It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. “(Ecclesiastes 5:5 NIV)
Just recently, I told someone I was going to visit a friend in the hospital, who had just found out he had cancer. I told the person I would try to go Saturday after a conference I was doing. I did intend on trying to go but was too tired and ended up not going. So, I planned on going the following Thursday and was determined to do so. I even texted him that my daughter and I would be visiting him. And we did and it was such a blessing. They were taking him to x-ray when we arrived and we told him we would see him when he got back. That was over an hour later but it was important we keep our word to him.
They moved him to Emory later that day, so had I not determined to keep my word on visiting him, I might not have gotten to see him again and I would have regretted it.
Most of us have the best of intentions but that is not always good enough. We need to do what we say we are going to do unless circumstances absolutely prevent us from doing so.
When we don’t keep our word to a person, it makes them feel unimportant to you. It takes a conscious effort but we can decide to keep our promises and quit giving out excuses. It’s past time. Keep your word and expect the same from others.©2016

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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