Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 22)
Don't Vow For Others*
My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
If you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
You have been trapped by what you said,
Ensnared by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my son, to free yourself,
Since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands:
Go--to the point of exhaustion--
And give your neighbor no rest!
Allow no sleep to your eyes,
No slumber to your eyelids.
Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
Like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
Proverbs 6:1-5 (NIV)
A vow is an oath or solemn promise. Should we make a pledge for another man? Should we co-sign a bank note for a friend? Should we guarantee what we cannot know, or risk our name, peace and reputation on anyone other than God Himself? Jesus tells us not to make any vows, not even on our own future actions.
'You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.' But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one' (Matthew 5:22-37).*
Actors, models and talent for Christ: We live in an age of faithlessness. Like the platforms of politicians or the campaigns of advertisers, hype is a game with very few rules. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise when we realize we're seeing lies.
When friends we've endorsed abandon us and leave us holding a dirty debt, they're riding this tide of faithlessness. As Christians, we can't say we weren't warned. But we can avoid some sweating brows if we'll heed God about wrongful vows.**
To Be Continued...
* 'Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge,
One of those who is surety for debts;
If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take away your bed from under you?'
Proverbs 22:26-27 (NKJV)
** Regarding our own commitments, we're told to keep a commitment even when it hurts: 'O Lord, who may stay in your tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?... The one who makes a promise and does not break it, even though he is hurt by it' (Psalm 15:1,4, God's Word Translation). Other translations: http://biblehub.com/psalms/15-4.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.