Children have an innate ability to (at least believe they) remember something you SAID.
Y’know, like, six months ago.
“But YOU PRO-O-O-M-I-S-E-D!!”
Personally, I think it’s pretty humorous. Kids will keep you, if not broke, then at least honest, when the money goes for braces instead of a new(er) car, or into the college fund rather than a retirement fund. Disney over Cancun, that sort of thing.
Best not to tell a kid something unless you mean it. To them, our words are powerful, like a contract signed in blood, and once they know you’re sincere, they’ll be back for more. More encouragement, more love…more money. (Always more money.)
Interestingly, it can be similar to the spiritual realm—Heaven is listening to what we say. Unfortunately, Hell is also tuned in. Now, I have heard my husband say that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman; He doesn’t force Himself on anyone. He is forgiving and patient. Consider the Prodigal Son who walked away and then said, “oops!”
Satan,…not so much.
“…if you have trapped yourself by your agreement
and are caught by what you said—”
I realize the context of this passage from Proverbs is concerned with signing off on someone else’s debt, but perhaps the principle has further applications. Author and counselor John Eldredge posits that we make spiritual agreements ALL THE TIME, sometimes in ways we don’t even realize:
“How can I be so stupid?!”
“I’ll never change.”
“I’m nothing but a mess.”
And with whom are we agreeing when we say these things? Certainly not God! His words over me are more along the lines of:
“I have authority and purpose.”
The challenge comes when I realize that I have a choice: just who will I believe? (Jesus paid dearly so that I could have that choice, BTW.) When I verbalize choices contrary to what God Himself says about me, I’m inviting spiritual influences in keeping with those decisions. Because that’s what my words are—decisions. Decisions to trust what I feel (or what the enemy is saying to me through a feeling) rather than the truth of God.
I can get trapped by that agreement.
The Good News, however, sets me free, since that’s what the Truth does. Always. Sure, I’m responsible for that freedom, but it’s paid for. Like a good Father, He promised.
And then signed it in blood.
Proverbs 6:2 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.