Matthew sat on the front porch with his backpack beside him. He looked at his watch as he tapped his toe on the step. Late again. Can’t you ever be on time?
Ever since his parents divorced, he spent every other weekend with his dad. And it never failed; his dad rarely arrived on time. He always had an excuse. Had to work late, got caught in a traffic jam, lost track of time. What would it be this week?
The tune of Star Wars played on his cell signalling his dad’s ring. Great, what does that mean?
The fifteen year old pulled his phone out of his jacket pocket and flipped it open. “Where are you?”
“Hi to you too, son,” his dad said.
“Sorry, but I’ve been waiting for twenty minutes. When are you getting here?” Matthew said as he shifted the front of his ball cap to the left side.
“Listen son. Something has come up and I’m going to have to cancel this weekend.”
Matthew jumped to his feet. “What? We were supposed to go to a ball game.”
He heard a sigh on the other end of the phone. “I know. But Michelle and I—”
“So she’s more important than me now?” Michelle…the new girlfriend. How long will this one last?
“If you’d let me finish, I’ll explain.”
Matthew plunked himself back on the step. “Fine.”
“Michelle has a great opportunity to sell her art in Toronto and wants me to go with her. Unfortunately, it’s all weekend, but if she can get into this gallery it will do wonders for her career.”
“But Dad, you promised to take me to a Jay’s game.”
“I know, but I just don’t have time. I’ll make it up to you. I promise.”
“Fine. Bye.” Matthew slammed his cell shut and flung it across the lawn, not caring if it broke. His dad would just have to buy him another one. It’s the least he could do. Why can’t you keep one promise?
Have you ever had a promise broken? Someone told you they would do something for you, but reneged. Or have you ever broken one? I’m sure you could say yes to both of those questions. I can.
It could be as simple as promising to pray for someone, but not doing it. Or telling a friend you would take them out for a coffee sometime, but you never seem to find the time.
Your husband or wife vowed to love you forever, but broke your marriage commitment. That’s a huge one.
No matter the promise, it hurts when it’s broken. Every time.
What would happen if we were more conscious of what we promised? If we took our obligations more seriously? I think if we really thought about it, we wouldn’t hand them out so quickly.
There is One who never breaks His promises. We need to use Him as our example and keep ours. If we did, our friends, families, co-workers, and neighbours would know they could trust us.
Have you broken a promise today? Do everything you can to make it right.
2 Peter 1:4 (NIV)
“He has given us his very great and precious promises.”