Being True To Your Word

Wednesday of Week 26 in Ordinary Time - Cycle II

Job 9:1-12, 14-16 & Lk. 9:57-62

In the midst of his sufferings Job could have thought that with the kind of friends he had who needs enemies? Three of his friends came to console him, but gradually consolation turned to accusation. They came to the conclusion that Job must have been guilty of some terrible sin to have deserved such a punishment from God. Job insisted that he was innocent and could not understand why these misfortunes had come about.

The point made by Job's friends was that God is just; He rewards good and punishes evil. They were so sure of themselves that they were not willing to allow God to act in His own mysterious way. They wanted to make life fit their own understanding. An important lesson of the story of Job is that God has other purposes than merely the exercise of strict justice. Even though we may not fully understand what the purposes of God, He asks that we trust Him.

Some people find it difficult to trust anyone but themselves. How many of us, for example, find it difficult to trust a driver even if he is every bit as concerned about safety as the rest in the car. This lack of trust annoys the driver, but a lack of trust in God does no good to the untrusting person. Surely God knows what He is doing and what He does is for the best?

Jesus took a dim view of empty promises, dismissing them as not worth the breath that it took to utter them. On His way to Jerusalem, there were some who promised undying devotion - but first they had family duties which needed attention. Jesus would have had the same reply to all: “Don't promise what you are not willing to deliver. If you put your hand to the plough, don’t look back.” In fact some of us can feel so good about promising something that we fail to worry much about doing it. But Jesus reminds us that a promise broken only compounds our wrongdoing. Not only have we shirked our duty but we have also broken our word in making an empty promise.

Lord Jesus, help us to be people who are dedicated to the truth, whose word can always be trusted, and who would never think of breaking a promise.