Shortly before his death, the Duke of Burgundy was presiding over the Cabinet Council of France. A proposal was made by the ministers that would violate a treaty but would secure important advantages for the country. Many reasons were offered to justify the deed. The Duke listened in silence, and when all had spoken he closed the conference without giving approval. Placing his hand on a copy of the original agreement, he said with firmness in his voice, “Gentlemen, we have a treaty!”
It’s important that Christians act and speak so that the Savior is glorified. When you give your word, keep it. If you make a commitment, honor it. If you take on an obligation, fulfill it. As Jesus said in Matthew 5:37, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes.’”
Our honesty and reliability should be so evident that we can be trusted for any contract we make. What better testimony could be said of a believer than this: “He gave his word; that’s good enough for me.” And if non-Christians can trust us in business matters, they are more likely to believe us when we speak about the gospel.
If you are tempted to go back on a promise, think again of the words of the Duke of Burgundy: “Gentlemen, we have a treaty!”
Uphold me in the common strife;
Give me the grace to work and plan;
And in the marketplace of life,
O keep me, Lord, an honest man. —Bayliss
Never give your word unless you intend to keep it.