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Paying Your Vows

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Shabbat Devotional from CBN Israel

“It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.”- Ecclesiastes 5:5

There was a time when I was in Bible College that the Founder was presenting a strong message about giving, followed by an invitation to pledge to the school any given amount. I was so emotionally moved in that moment and was so engaged in the message that I jumped on the bandwagon and pledged, on paper, to give a rather large sum. The truth is, as a college student, I didn’t have that sum to give. 

There was no follow-up from the school with those who had given a pledge. No phone calls, no reminders, nothing. I gave a little of what I had towards the pledge in the beginning, but when finances were tight, I stopped putting anything down. A year passed and I still had a long way to go towards paying off that vow. I even began to think that since no one was following up with me about it, did it really matter if I ever paid it off? Besides, it was a pledge, not a debt. 

The Holy Spirit has a way of convicting us in private areas of our lives that only God knows about. And paying that pledge off was one of them. I was having some quiet time with the Lord one day when I came across this verse in Ecclesiastes about paying our vows. Boy was I was convicted! I knew that if for no other reason than to make this right before God, that was reason enough. I still didn’t have the means to pay off that pledge, but I knew God wanted me to pay it, so I needed to make steps forward in that direction. 

When we act in obedience to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, God steps in to help us. I began setting aside a little money at a time until the day came that I could walk into that college office and pay that pledge in full. Oh the freedom I felt that day! Whew. It was paid!

I learned my lesson the hard way. It is better not to make hasty, emotional vows at all, then to vow and realize after the fact that I can’t come through because I didn’t count the cost. 

We need to be careful when we make commitments. People want hasty answers because they know that hesitation might lead to a, “no.” And we don’t like to hear that word. But making a vow out of haste will in the end, bring disappointment and pain. How can we avoid that? By thinking and praying through our decisions. If God wants us to make a commitment, we can rest assured that He will give us EVERYTHING WE NEED in order to follow through and do what it takes to make good our vows. 

God bless you!

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