What is your word worth – whether a resolution, oath, legal contract or verbal promise?
“I solemnly swear. . .” This month of January there will be many people taking oaths – primarily an oath of office for those newly elected to leadership positions in Government. I recently joined an organization where the process of becoming a member included taking an oath to uphold the purposes and goals of the organization. In court, witnesses take an oath that their testimony will be the truth. How much do we think of these oaths and how seriously do we take them?
An oath is defined as a covenant, pledge, promise or vow to do certain things. It is a public proclamation and manifestation of what should also be an inner personal commitment. Though taken before other people and often with much ceremony, the purpose is much more than to satisfy others that our intentions are good and honorable. It is a solemn and sacred promise, usually pledged in the name of God. When we swear in His name, we recognize a need for His help to fulfill responsibilities – “so help me God” – and we recognize that He is our witness to this commitment. Implied is the realization that we will be judged by God as to how well we keep this pledge. God knows and judges the intents of our hearts as well as our sincere efforts.