A few years back my pastor taught a life-changing series on giving. It was about more than offerings and organized church. He taught life principles for giving — money, effort, time. This week a random thought hit me about promises, and I did two things.
First, I looked up the word on my Merriam-Webster app (yes, I have the dictionary app on my phone). Promise is both a noun and a verb. Here are the primary meanings of the former (noun):
1. a declaration that one will do or not do something specified
2. legally binding declaration that give the one who is made the promise the right to expect the specified act
Here are the verb meanings of the word promise:
1. to pledge to do, bring about or provide
2. to assure
3. to betroth
4. to suggest beforehand
5. to give ground for expectation
Second, I wrote a post on social media, complete with hash tags. Here is what I said.
Now, I’d like to share the verse from the giving teaching that most impacted me. It’s the first part of Ezra 2:69 (NASB)
According to their ability they gave…
It is right to EXPECT performance from those who make PROMISES. This is how we learn to rest in our Father’s faithfulness. He is the first and best promise keeper. Accountability holds one to a promise….it is the one who does not respect accountability that feels pressure to make their promises good.
How do we remove the performance pressure on our intention…on what we THINK we can do or what we WANT to be able to do…then we cannot. Ezra 2:69 — do what you can do.
But let’s keep it simple…according to your ability, GIVE. When it comes to promises, PERFORM. Just like our God.
Selah, and love to all.