When I was younger I said some pretty dumb things. Never mind just saying them, I would back them up with even more ignorant declarations.
Let me give you one simple example. I have a friend named Mike. My group of friends and even family like to tease a bit. (Actually a lot) Mike made a comment about me someday driving a specific type of car. We were judgemental as well as ignorant, but it falls under the same category.
My answer wasn’t a simple, “Nuh-Uh”! I had to give a very detailed declaration. “I’d rather crawl through the desert all the way to California, on my hands and knees, through broken glass, without water, dragging my tongue over the glass and hot pavement, than drive that type of car there”!!!
…My wife drives that type of car now…
This is just one example, I have enough to fill an encyclopedia size set of books.
Although with age and wisdom we realize that this is a very short life, we also realize that never is a long time.
I’m very appreciative of that forgiveness thing Jesus talked about because there’s been a lot of times I’ve gone back on my word.
I could be the size of a barn with all the words I’ve had to eat. Maybe I’d be skinny due to the fact that my foot was usually in my mouth. You get the point. (and pun)
I try to choose my words a little more carefully these days. The Proverb, “Pride goeth before a fall, after humility, comes honor.” This Bible verse has more meaning in my life now than ever before.
I’ve also learned that words are powerful, but not as powerful as actions. Talking the talk, is much easier than walking the walk. Since we as humans are not perfect and given to weakness. It’s not bad advice to follow the rule of “Never Say Never.”
There are some exceptions to that rule. There are also some self-fulfilling prophecies in those powerful words.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people say, “I’m never gonna…” Finish the statement any number of ways and we’ve all heard most of them. “I’m never gonna be rich.” Or, “I’m never gonna get outta this place.” Maybe, “I’m never gonna trust another person as long as I live”! One of the most popular is, “I’m never gonna go to church again”!
A bitter heart is powerful.
I have to admit all the nevers I quoted and didn’t keep. I’d rather lose integrity for a short time, in order to gain wisdom for a lifetime.
Although I failed many times to keep my sometimes ignorant word because I didn’t and can admit it, I have peace.
I think quite often those “never declarations” find their motivations in fear. Fear of failing, fear of rejection, and fear of losing control. That seems more like existing than living.
The gift of life has its struggles and disappointments, but it also has the promise of God to those of us who believe.
The “never” that I count on through the days that make up my life is the one promise in scripture. (partial) “I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE OR FORSAKE THEE.”
This promise of “never” is also the forgiveness for my unkept “nevers.”
By the way, I never told Mike I got my wife that car…