It’s so easy to make promises when we’re talking to youth.It’s understandable too, because we want to reassure them, comfort them, tell them everything will work out. And so we make promises….
Of course I’ll be there next year.
I won’t ever let you down.
I’m not going anywhere.
It will all be okay.
God will answer this prayer, you’ll see.
But we should never make promises that are outside our control to keep. We don’t know if we’ll be there next year. We don’t know if we won’t ever fail someone. We don’t know if God has plans for us to leave. And we certainly don’t know what the future will bring for someone and if God will answer a certain prayer or not.
We should not make promises to young people we can’t keep. It’s phony, it’s too easy and it’s possibly damaging for their self worth and their faith. Because what will happen if we do leave? If God does call us to a different place? If the change in their lives they’ve been praying for so hard doesn’t happen?
Broken promises bring hurt and pain and that’s something young people don’t need more of. They don’t need us to promise things we can’t deliver, they need us to be honest and real.
We should tell them that we don’t know what the future brings, but that we have every intention of doing right by them. That we don’t know what God has planned, but that we have faith in His character and wisdom. That we don’t know if God will answer certain prayers, but that He remains a loving Father nonetheless.
Don’t make easy promises, tell the truth.
Share the promises of the only One who can make them because he has the power to keep them. He will never leave or forsake us. He will be right next to us when we walk through that valley of the shadow of death. He will deliver us and in the end, He will do what He has promised: bring us Home.
That’s the kind of promise we should share with our young people.