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When you tell another person that you will do something for them, especially when you say the words “I promise”, you are committing yourself to doing that thing at any cost. To love your neighbour means to keep your promise.

A good neighbor keeps a promise because no one likes to be disappointed. Or would you like to see your friends not show up for your birthday or a visit after they had promised they would? Or how about not meeting your friend at home when they had promised they would be home?

A promise is a strong commitment and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even the bible cautions us not to make promises we can’t keep. Jesus said that we should stand by what we say. If it is a “yes” we should stand by it. And if it is a “No” we should allow it to be a strong one and not change our minds. This is also a way to love your neighbour.

Matthew 5:37 (KJV) But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Your neighbor could be counting on you for help with something. It could be helping a classmate at school with some school work. Or helping a friend with some money. And you could be their only hope at doing or getting something. If you end up doing otherwise it could damage your friendship with them. It could also make people to label you as a bad and not trustworthy fellow. This indeed is not a way to love your neighbour.

Again, you only treat people as you would want them to treat you. Remember, no one likes to be disappointed.

May the Lord help you to make promises you can keep. May He also help you not make promises that you can’t or wouldn’t keep. Amen.

Lord, give me the grace to not make empty promises. Empower me to make good my promises. Help me to obey the “love your neighbour” commandment. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Action point:
Before you commit yourself to help someone, pray and let the Holy Spirit lead you.

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