Giving one’s word – Matthew 2:28-32

30th September / 1st October, 2017
One of the great things we can give another person is our word. It’s easy to give our word. It doesn’t cost anything, the cost comes later, if and when we honour our word.
Some people are very generous with their word. They will promise you the sun, moon and stars. But you can’t rely on them. They don’t really mean it. Their word proves worthless, their promises dissolve like salt in water. There is not one of us who has not experienced the pain of being let down by someone who failed to keep his/her word.
But there are others who are slow to give their word. They don’t make promises easily, but when they promise, you can rely on them to honour it. How great it is to deal with such people.
In this weekend’s Gospel the father asks his two sons to go and work in the vineyard, one of the sons gives an immediate ‘yes’, he gave his solemn word, but sadly didn’t keep his word. He did not go!
The other also gave his word, saying he wouldn’t go but change his mind and went. There is a lesson in this for all of us. We call ourselves Christians but outsiders sometimes accuse us of being hypocrites because our lives do not bear witness to the faith we profess with our lips. Sin does not necessarily imply doing something wrong. The greatest sin is not to do good: the sin of inactivity, of doing nothing.
We can learn from the son who said ‘No’ but later changed his mind. To change one’s mind is generally regarded as a fault and a weakness. But this is not always the case. It take’s humility to admit to one’s mistake, and courage to put it right.
We can see the second son because he finally obeyed his father, is a lot better than the first. This parable teaches us that promises can never take the place of performance, and fine words can never be substitute for fine deeds. Faithfulness is one of the greatest and most necessary things in life. But faithfulness is costly. It is not an easy road. It demands unselfishness and a spirit of sacrifice
Even here on earth it brings great rewards in terms of growth, serenity and joy.
There are no such rewards for the unfaithful, no happiness at the end of the day for the one who gives his word but fails to honour it. But there is great joy for the one who gives his sword and honours it.
It is said that a person is as good as his / her word. If that is so, then the question you and I might ask ourselves is: How good is my word?
Kind regards to one and all – Dean Peter