I Promise

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Mike Kassalis is a 22-year-old cancer patient.  He is also a big baseball fan and especially likes the Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

On July 22, 2014, Mike Kassalis told Anthony that he wished he would hit a homerun for him.  That is a pretty big order.  Anthony has only averaged 15 homeruns a year in his career. Anthony promised Mike that he would hit a homerun for him that day.  Would you believe that on July 22, Anthony Rizzo hit two homeruns for Mike!  That is a promise kept!

Keeping promises is not one of the strong suits of people in this 21st century.  We casually tell people we will do things or make commitments, then find some rationalization for backing out on that promise.  Do politicians keep promises?  You can provide the illustrations to answer that.

In the play, The Skin of Our Teeth, written by Thornton Wilder, the character Mrs. Antrobus says to her husband, “I didn’t marry you because you were perfect….I married you because you gave me a promise.”

Then Mrs. Antrobus takes off her wedding ring and looks at it. She continues, “That promise made up for your faults and the promise I gave you made up for mine.  Two imperfect people got married, and it was the promise that made the marriage.”  Marriages are based on promises.

Do television commercials keep promises?  John Leonard lives in Lynnwood, Washington.  He has sued Pepsi after being told that an offer for a Harrier jet fighter in a commercial for the soft drink was just a joke.

The commercial shows a customer landing the jet in his front yard and suggests it can be had for seven million “Pepsi Points.”  Leonard figured it would cost him $700,000 to collect the points…so he came up with a way to raise the money and sent Pepsi a check.  Pepsi sent it back, saying the ad was a spoof.  It wasn’t a valid promise.  By the way – Harrier jets cost over $40 million each!

A lot of residents in Ohio recently thought they received a great promise from the IRS – some very good news – only to have their balloons deflated.  9,700 Ohio taxpayers received letters promising huge tax refunds – some up to $200 million.  The Ohio Department of Taxation blamed the letters on a software glitch.

I remember playing basketball with the Venture for Victory basketball team when we played several games against the Filipino Olympic team in Manila.  I will never forget hearing the Filipino people tell how General Douglas MacArthur had made the promise to the Filipino people that he would return and set them free.  That promise became his mantra for the next 2 ½ years.

On October 20, 1944, he returned to Philippines and led a great military victory.  People there always remembered that he kept that promise.  He will go down in history as the promise keeper!

While we human beings will have difficulty keeping promises I am glad we worship a God who always keeps His promises.  Solomon said in I Kings 8:56, “Not one word of all God’s good promises has failed.”  Paul reminds us in Romans 4:20 and 21, “We can always look to the promise of God, because He never wavers in His promises.  We can be fully assured that what He has promised, He does perform.”

Promises are made to be kept – not broken.

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