You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.’ But I say, do not make any vows! … Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.In our culture, we are so comfortable with going back on our word that we have to use the phrase “I promise!” to get anyone to believe us! If our friend asks “Will you help me with my homework?” and we say, “Yes,” they might still ask us, “You promise?”
What happened to letting our “Yes” mean “Yes”? There is no need for a vow or a promise if we merely do what we said we were going to do in the first place.
1. Describe what happened the last time someone asked you to “promise” you would do something. Did you do it?
2. What are the benefits of saying “No” to a request that is made of you? (avoiding being over-committed; having more time for important things)
3. Does this mean we should never use the words “I promise”? (If yes – only sparingly, the principle is that our word is reliable, no matter how we say it.)