A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain. Proverbs 25:14 (NLT)
Read: Proverbs 25:14 (NLT)
Listen: Proverbs 25 (NIV)
Rain was critical in ancient Israel. Water was essential to ensure a bountiful harvest in that agrarian-based economy. Without the modern pumps and methods of irrigation we have today, the only option was to watch the sky. A most welcome sight—storm clouds filled with rain for which they fervently prayed. How incredibly disheartening to see the clouds move overhead, and then keep on going, without a single drop of rain touching the earth. Hopes are raised, then crushed.
The author of this proverbs wants us to feel these same emotions by describing someone who doesn’t keep their promises. It’s the parent who promises to take a child to the zoo on Saturday but doesn’t. It’s an end-of-year bonus that was promised but never given. It’s the promise to help a family move, but the result is a no-show. Sometimes, people commit but really have no intention of following through. Others intend to help but just over-commit. The result is the same—all clouds, no rain.
Jesus spoke to the same issue in the Sermon on the Mount when he said, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’” (Matthew 5:37a). Better to under-promise and over-deliver than over-promise and under-deliver.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Review how you typically respond when asked to do something. If you need to improve in this area, Matthew 5:37a can help. Write this verse and place it where you’ll regularly see it this week. Memorize it and allow the Spirit to use it as you move towards under-promising and over-delivering.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.