Saying No Is Better

Broken Promise EggMatthew 5:33-37

Again, you’ll recall the old law that says, “You shall not lie, but you shall do what you’ve promised.” But I say, don’t even make promises. Don’t say, “heaven help me,” because heaven is up to God. And don’t promise the world; the world’s not yours to promise. Don’t make it contingent on politics. And don’t think that by dying your hair you’re fooling anybody about who you really are. Just do what you say you’re going to do. And if you’re not going to do something, say so. Anything beyond that is jank.

People make a lot of promises. Sometimes people make them with good intentions. Sometimes people make them with no intention to keep them at all.

How many times have you heard, “I’ll be praying for you.” How many times did you believe it? How many times have you said you would do something just to get somebody off your case? Of those times, how many times did you not follow through, either because you never really intended to, or because your heart wasn’t in it and you forgot, or because you’d made too many commitments ran out of time, or…. The list goes on.

But the truth is, the list of excuses doesn’t really matter. Someone who was expecting something has been let down. And, sure, maybe they’ll say they understand. Maybe they say they’ll forgive you. Maybe they will. But it still would have been better to say no up front.

Jesus says, better not to make promises. Or if you do, make sure you know you can deliver beforehand. Better just to do than just to say, and it’s no sin to say no.