Monday, June 07, 2010

Keeping Your Commitments

This year I have led my small group through a Psalm each week.  This past Wednesday we read Psalm 15.  I have leaned upon John Calvin's Commentary on the Psalms and found this passage especially helpful:

Calvin writes concerning verse 4:
"...the faithful will rather submit to suffer loss than break their word. When a man keeps his promises, in as far as he sees it to be for his own advantage, there is in this no argument to prove his uprightness and faithfulness. But when men make a promise to each other, there is nothing more common than from some slight loss which the performance of it would occasion, to endeavor to find a pretext for breaking their engagements. Every one considers with himself what is for his own advantage, and if it puts him to inconvenience or trouble to stand to
his promises, he is ingenious enough to imagine that he will incur a far greater loss than there is any reason to apprehend. It seems, indeed, a fair excuse when a man complains that, if he does not depart from his engagement, he will suffer great loss. Hence it is, that we generally see so much unfaithfulness among men, that they do not consider themselves bound to perform the promises which they have made, except in so far as it will promote their own personal interest. David, therefore, condemning this inconstancy, requires the children of God to exhibit the greatest steadfastness in the fulfillment of their promises."

In light of the fact that 25% of American homes are "underwater," this passage from Calvin ought to strike deeply in the conscience of Christians.

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