Reading through the Bible together

Monday, September 10, 2012

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What does it mean to make a vow? This chapter is primarily focused on the solemnity and permanency of a confirmed vow, whether in marriage or in any other relationship or business. What we say should be truth, but only the actions that follow those words will demonstrate whether or not a person is worthy of trust. Those actions define a person’s character. A person is only as good as his word. In his book The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, John C. Maxwell puts character as the first essential quality on his list. “Anyone can say that he has integrity, but action is the real indicator of character…If a leader’s actions and intentions are continually working against each other, then look to his character to find out why” (Maxwell 13).

 

When there is disconnect between what a person says and what he/she does, sooner or later a crisis will reveal the true character of that individual. Our character is the only true measure of who we are, and all that we can take to heaven with us. “A character formed according to the divine likeness is the only treasure that we can take from this world to the next. Those who are under the instruction of Christ in this world will take every divine attainment with them to the heavenly mansions. And in heaven we are continually to improve. How important, then, is the development of character in this life” (COL 332).

 

When we become Christians, we make a vow (covenant) with God to follow Him and represent Him. As Christians, we must “live the talk” if we are to be perceived as truthful. The entire great controversy is focused on who is telling the truth—God or Lucifer? In eternity past, a third of the angelic host sided with Lucifer and followed him. A while later, Adam and Eve trusted the word of the serpent over the word of God. Knowing the truth is crucial when making a decision. That’s why God places such emphasis on the importance and solemnity of making a vow in this chapter. Be truthful to your word. Follow up what you say with the proper action. Make each promise an opportunity to display a character transformed by grace. That’s the best way you and I can represent God, both for those watching on this earth and for those watching from other planets. This world is a stage, and we are all actors. Our part is simple, to tell the truth in word and deed. “Christians are set as light bearers on the way to heaven. They are to reflect to the world the light shining upon them from Christ. Their life and character should be such that through them others will get a right conception of Christ and of His service” (SC 115).

 

Fred Knopper

Adventist Media Center