“If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.”
In the verse above, God is dealing with his people making vows to Him. One thing that is very important to God is a person’s word. God does not take a person’s word lightly because He doesn’t take people perverting His Word lightly. One of the reasons God wanted His people to keep their vows is because they are a representation of Him to the world. The world will presume that God is not a God of His Word if they see God’s people breaking their vows.
You may not have much in life, but one thing that will set you apart from all others is your ability to keep your word. Your word defines your character. You show me how much you keep your word, and I will show you how much people can depend upon you. Though the world around you may not think that breaking a vow is that “bad” of a sin, it is a bad sin to God because it is your word. There are several things I want to point out to you about the importance of keeping your vows to God and man.
First, never be flippant about making a vow. The fact that someone is flippant about making a vow shows how much they value their word. When you become careful with making a vow to God or man is what shows how much you value your word. One of the greatest reasons you mustn’t be flippant about making a vow is because you are putting your name on the line; better yet, you are putting your character on the line. If you don’t want to be considered a person of bad character, you had better be careful in making a vow.
Second, keeping part of your vows is not keeping your vows at all. God says in the verse above, “…he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.” You cannot just pick and choose what part of your vow you want to keep with God or others. One reason you should be careful about making a vow is because you are going to be held accountable to whether you keep the whole vow or not. Saying that you have kept your vow and only fulfilled part of it is a bald-faced lie. Keeping every part of your vow is important to God and your character.
Third, the degree to which you keep your vows is the degree to which you reveal God to the world. The world can only see God through you, and when you don’t keep your word, you are making a poor portrayal of God to the world. As a believer, you must always remember that it is not just your name on the line when you make a vow, but you have put God’s name on the line because the world holds God accountable for His children not keeping their vows.
One of the things you must be extremely careful about is not keeping your vows because you didn’t expect God to bless you to the extreme level that He blessed. Many times a believer promises God that they will do something if He will come through and help them. For instance, you can promise God that you will give a certain percentage of your business income if He blesses your business. What if God blesses your business far beyond your expectations? Are you ready to keep your vow to God at that point? God will often give you more than you expected when you make a vow with Him just to see if your heart is perfect towards Him. Let me caution you to be very careful with making vows to God. You don’t have to make a vow to God, but when you do, He expects you to keep every part of that vow that you made.