I think we as Christians in this day and age have forgotten to let our yes be yes and our no be no. When we say we’re going to do something, we have to follow through. It should be part of our Christian witness. We live in a culture where we reward bad performance. When someone does a lousy job for their company, we don’t fire them because we don’t want to cause a stir or end up in a courtroom for unjust firing. Instead, we send the person away with a large severance package and a pat on the back. Or, we make the decision to co-sign on our kid’s car loan to help them out. When our kid doesn’t make his payments, we get upset and try to find a way out of having to pay out of our own pocket even though we signed a contract saying we would.
Even the simple things have gone by the wayside. We say, “I’ll be there at 9,” and there’s no conviction when we show up at 9:10. Or we see no issue with calling at 9 saying we’re running late. Or, one making the rounds lately is the person who says, “I know I can’t afford this house, but my loan officer says I can get approved for this loan. So, I’ll buy the house and commit to these huge payments, and I’ll just pray that God will bail me out when I can’t make those payments.”
We’ve lost the art of letting our yes be yes. Perhaps even worse, we’re passing that legacy onto our children. We wonder why our kids don’t do their homework, get better grades or do their chores when we should be looking at the example, we’re setting for them and asking ourselves that same question. Just by our testimony, we’re ill preparing our children for their future.
But this concept of following through doesn’t just mean for positive things, it can also mean for negative things or things that make you uncomfortable. I recently tried to buy a new screen for my laptop through a company I found on eBay, and when the part arrived, we discovered that it was the wrong part. When I contacted the company to exchange the part, they gave me the runaround and offered little help on resolving my situation. Sadly, they didn’t take me seriously until I threatened to post negative feedback on their eBay account. Shortly after that, I got several calls from a higher-up because he took my threat seriously—he assumed I would follow through. After more runaround from the company, I finally did follow through. It was uncomfortable, and I didn’t necessarily want to do it, but I wouldn’t be allowing my yes to be yes if I hadn’t.
The bottom line is this: we need to make a much more concerted effort to follow through on what we commit to. Don’t say you’ll do something when you won’t, regardless of whether it’s something positive or negative.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought-after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.