April 23, 2019—
I remember when I was a kid, my sixth-grade teacher was a man of character. When he said something, he meant it. When he promised something, he did it.
He made sure I remembered this. Once, he pulled me to the side and told me that I was destined for something. That not all kids were told this. He saw potential in me. He saw that what I said, I did.
He then told me, “Oscar, your word is your bond. Whatever you promise to do, do it with all your being. Even if it’s the smallest of things, complete the task until it’s done.”
I want to say that I understood, but it took a whole lot of years to understand. I left disappointed friends and family along the way to this journey of having character.
The Word of God tells us to let our ‘yes’, be a ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ be a ‘no'(Matthew 5:37).
Yet I find that even some of the best and well-intentioned Christian men I have known along the way lack this valuable strength.
I have been promised things by men whom the community hold to be pillars. Yet, I have seen them make promises to people and later on redact on their promises.
I don’t let those people hold me back or speak ill of them. This is one lesson that I know God has total control of. They, by breaking a promise, are cheating themselves, their families, and most of all God. I have my own problems to contend to. But I promise you this, as I promised your Nana decades past:
—Whatever I say, is my word. My word is my bond! If I make a promise to you, I will do everything in my power to keep it. If God gets in the way of any promise, then it was the LORD’s will that I not keep it—
And if God doesn’t want me to do something, this means I did not consult God in the matter, and that, for you, will be the time that you can correct me by asking why I did not keep my promise.
You see kids, my word is what makes me who I am.
—If I start acting like most politicians, making promises I intend to break, then my character can’t be trusted.
—If my character can’t be trusted, then I can’t tell you how great God is.
—If I can’t tell you about God, then I have failed in life.
—You see, the only reason why we are here is to make sure you make a personal commitment to Jesus, as your LORD and Savior.
—But if by me breaking your trust in God’s saving grace through Jesus the Messiah, this will be my greatest failure in life.
—And this will be because you did not find me to have great character.
— I want you to look at you Poppa and see a man who trusts wholly in God’s character and strength.
—God’s character will never fail you but I will. Yet this will not be an excuse for you to wonder if your Poppa can be trusted.
So the first lesson in your tiny and young lives is this—
Always say what you’ll do by just doing what you were going to say. Let your actions speak louder than the words that were going to be said. And let your actions forge the character that people will see in you.—
I know many a people who have a great reputation, but very few who have a great character that can be trusted…
I guess what I am trying to say is this—
Don’t listen to what people say, listen to their actions. They’ll tell you how much you can trust them—
This includes your Poppa…