After reading Judges 11, my mind is being pulled to the many vows that are made in life. Commitment is a thing we aspire to, apparently.
One thing that reigns true throughout time, and that is also reflected in this chapter of the Bible, is that we tend to make the greatest vows in the peak of our excitement, love, desperation, hopes, wants, needs etc.
It just makes me wonder though….Is it that we are a people who like to bargain for what we want? Are the vows we make just a temporary condition or commitment to receiving what we want? Or are these vows genuine expressions of commitment, of accountability?
When was the last time we made a vow? What was the deal? What was the expectation in making this vow? What did it gain us? Was the vow still worth it once we had to come through on keeping our end of the deal? Do we keep our words? If we do keep our words, are we happy about doing so when we have to exchange the sacrifice of making that vow? Are vows only made to gain something?
Not to take away from the beauty within us that wants to exemplify our intentions to commit, to see things through, to be trustworthy – to be courageous in taking risks with the unknown, when the stakes are high. But my biggest wonder in all of this is, just how many vows are made when there is absolutely nothing to gain……?
It seems that there is something to learn from these questions, these moments, these exchanges in our lives.
What is it that our hearts are really saying when we are making vows in everyday life? What is it that we really want? Are there unknown, underlying motives?
I would suggest that we all have a responsibility to search our own hearts, minds, souls, to assess whether we are truly entering a genuine vow, or whether we are just bargaining – with little or no intention to carry out the sacrifice that we once offered up as a seal to that vow.
What are the real differences between a vow and a bargain? and do we ever ask ourselves if we are bargaining more than we are vowing, when making promises, commitments or the like?
We must be careful not to vow prematurely, or to reach an ulterior goal. Often the person who is left worst off, is the person who was really trying to bargain, as opposed to make a vow.
Perhaps the greatest vows of all are the one’s where there is nothing to gain. Either way, it is in our power to decide.