I guess you have heard it before:

I’ll be there in a minute.”

“I’ll call you later.”

“Your secret’s safe with me.”

“I’m nearly ready.”

“I’ll just have the one drink.”

“I’m fine, thanks.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I won’t let you down.”

“The cheque’s in the post.”

I guess you may have even said some of these things yourself, and you will certainly have heard many of them.   Was it true?

Sadly, 42% of people lie when they say: “I will,” but end up being divorced.   It’s not what you say that matters – it’s what you do.

But it’s not easy!   Often we say things with the best of intentions, meaning every word of what we say, but later realise that we can’t actually do what we said we would.   We forget, something else crops up, we get distracted, or we are just too tired at times.

We make promises, but they

“disappear like the morning mist, like dew in the morning sun, like chaff blown by the wind, like smoke from a chimney.”

Hosea 13:3

The Israelites must have had good intentions, but they still ended up worshipping idols – things that “disappear like the morning mist …”   Imagine Moses’ distress when he returned down the mountain to where he had left his people, only to find them worshipping golden idols!   After all the miracles they had seen God perform, and the commandments they had seen written in God’s own hand, they still turned to worship a golden calf they had made for themselves!

They had promised, and said:

“We will do everything the Lord has commanded.”

Exodus 24:3

It’s not what you say that matters, it’s what you do.   Because even after promising that they wouldn’t worship false idols, that’s what they ended up doing.   They said one thing, but did another – and ended up in the wilderness for forty years!

So, the next time to say something, think before you say it.   When you say, “be there in a minute,” will you?   When you say, “speak to you later,” will you?   When you say, “the cheque’s in the post,” is it?

May what you say become what you do.   May your promises not be like the morning mist, or the morning dew; may your words not be like chaff in the wind, or smoke in the chimney – there one minute, but gone and forgotten the next.   May you do what you say, and say only what you will do.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.