Psalm 15:1-4 is one of the first lessons God taught me when I first became born again.
The scripture I am referring to says; Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
Today I am talking about the last part of this scripture. He who swears to his own hurt and does not change.
What does that mean? It means if you give your word, keep it, even if it hurts.
This scripture is telling us that in order to dwell constantly in God’s presence, there are some things we must do. And one of them is to be a keeper of our word.
I can not count the number of times people, Christians, have told me they were going to do a particular thing, only to fail to do it. This has happened to me over and over again. What’s even worse, is many of them will say, “God told me to do this or that.” Yikes! If you are not going to keep your word, please don’t bring God into it. Would you really refuse to do something you know God told you to do? I hope I wouldn’t.
Recently I have been dealing with a few people like this. Christians who commit to something and then do not carry it out. It is very difficult for me to deal with. I expect more from people of God. During times like this I must be consistent about keeping my heart right before God and before them. It is not a pleasant situation.
Let’s look at this section of scriptures in a couple more translations.
The New International Bible shares it like this: who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts. (Ps. 15:4).
The Passion translation puts it this way:
Lord, who dares to dwell with you? Who presumes the privilege of being close to you, living next to you in your shining place of glory? Who are those who daily dwell in the life of the Holy Spirit? They are passionate and wholehearted, always sincere and always speaking the truth— for their hearts are trustworthy. They refuse to slander or insult others; they’ll never listen to gossip or rumors, nor would they ever harm another with their words. They will speak out passionately against evil and evil workers while commending the faithful ones who follow after the truth. They make firm commitments and follow through, even at great cost.
I have found myself in this situation many times over the years. I make a commitment to someone and then something happens that it is hard to keep that commitment. I keep it, if at all possible. If I can’t, I make sure to let the people involved know I can’t and why I can’t keep it. I never leave them wondering what is going on.
My word is my bond. If I consistently fail to keep my word, according to scripture, I won’t be able to dwell in God’s presence. That is too big of a price to pay for me.
Nor do I want to become a person whom people can say about, “you can’t trust a thing she says, she does not do anything she says she will do.”
It’s simple really. If you make a promise – keep it. Keep it even if it takes great effort or it hurts you. God places a very high priority on being people of our word. Do not be a person who does not keep their word.
Now, that being said, if, in the past, you have not been a person who kept their word, I am not trying to condemn. Perhaps to correct, or convict, but never to condemn. God is merciful. Not keeping our word is a sin, it’s a lie. However, if we confess our sins before God, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
You can’t go back and change what you have done – but you can certainly change how you keep your word from this day forth.
I don’t know about you, but I choose to dwell daily in God’s manifested presence. To do that, I must do things His way, as stated in Psalm 15. I must keep my word or not make the promise to begin with.
May God continue to help us all keep His word and walk in His ways.
Meditate on this:
But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 1 John 2:5