Session 30

Five steps to keeping promises

From Numbers: A 5-Week Devotional


Numbers 30

“But you promised!”

Parents have heard this broken hearted cry. If someone disappointed us, we’ve said it, too. Broken promises destroy trust, causing distress and pain.

In Numbers 30:2, God says, “When a man makes a vow…he must not break his word but must do everything he said.”

Sometimes we make promises in haste — to quiet a child or end an argument. But responsibility for keeping that promise doesn’t go away because we didn’t think it through.

We can avoid the pitfall of a promise made too quickly by slowing down to consider five facts:

1. Remember whose you are.

As Christians, the Holy Spirit lives inside us. His power is ready to teach us to carefully consider promises before we make them (John 14:26).

2. Understand promises come with responsibility attached.

If we break them, we will suffer the consequence of lost trust, which is difficult to regain.

3. Say “yes” or “no,” but not “yes” then “no” (Matthew 5:37).

Admitting you can’t take something on is better than breaking your word down the road.

4. Believe in promise power.

People trust us to do what we say we will do. As ambassadors of Christ, it’s not only our character at stake(2 Corinthians 5:20). Others form opinions about Jesus based on our actions.

5. Ask the Holy Spirit for strength to fulfill each carefully made promise.

Promises are a measure of trust. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can keep every single promise we make.


  • Do you have trouble keeping promises? What’s one step you can take this week to regain trust and start keeping your promises?
  • Have you lost trust as a result of others’ broken promises? What’s one step you can take today to begin to forgive?

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