Promises are broken. People disappoint. Pain is part of life. These three statements would be hard to disagree with. No matter how much money you make, where are you live, what religion guides you, the color of your skin, or whether you’re male or female, we all experienced the same thing. It is important to see broken promises as the cause of our disappointment and the source of our pain.
The ordinary way to handle broken promises is to get angry, to feel betrayed, and to focus on the broken promise, the person who betrayed our trust, and our pain. It is easy to say that we will never trust that person again after too many broken promises. Depending on the nature of the relationship and the type a promise broken, this may be necessary for safety and survival. Even still, these situations take up much of our time and energy yet yield few results.
Rather than get caught up focusing on how other people have broken their promises to us, will be better served by looking at promises we make to ourselves. after we trailer, it is easy to promise ourselves, that we will never fall for such tricks again. We think we are protecting ourselves, but in reality, we are hardening our hearts. Hardening our hearts is something God cautions us against. In fact, Jesus tells us to forgive not once, twice, or three times what’s 7×70 times. Jesus was not giving us a math problem. He was saying there is no end to forgiveness. Forgiveness is impossible with a hardened heart.
At the same time, Proverbs tells us that a dog returns to his vomit. We do not want to play the fool by opening ourselves up to betrayal again.
The answer as to how best to handle broken promises to avoid hardened hearts, and foolish repetition of misplaced trust is to focus on ourselves rather than on the promise, the person, or the pain. Using broken promises as a learning platform allows us to find purpose to what we’re going through. As Victor Frankel said “a man who knows the why can endure any how.”
Suffering due to a broken promise causes us to ask why, but it’s the wrong kind of why. The whys we tend to ask about center around the other person. We ask why he would treat us like that or why she wouldn’t do what she h said she would, and so on. When we ask whys of ourselves, we ask the wrong kinds of why. Our why questions tend to be self-defeating. We ask ourselves things like why we didn’t know better, or why we didn’t see this coming or, if this is a pattern for us, why this always happens to me?
To live, not ordinary, our why questions should invoke curiosity rather than accusation and defeat. Being curious about ourselves and our successes and failures opens the door to growth. This is especially important if we have a pattern of being taken advantage of or trusting the wrong people.
often will find the betrayal could have been predicted or thwarted, if we had designed better boundaries and kept them firmly established. The interesting thing about broken promises is that we tend to focus on promises others have broken to us. We ignore the promises we make and then break to ourselves. We think, since no one else is involved, knows about promises we make to ourselves, or notices when we don’t keep our promises They are harmless and do not affect us. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When we break a promise to ourselves, we send subtle messages letting ourselves know, our boundaries are movable, our commitment is built on sand, and even we do not feel we are worth the extra effort of keeping our word. This all happens in our subconscious, making it harder for us to recognize, combat, and overcome.
You will break more promises to yourself than everyone you’ll meet combined over the course of your lifetime. The good news is, it’s never too late to learn. Focus not on others, but on changing yourself. Forgive. Harden not your heart. Rely on discipline over motivation as I mentioned yesterday.
And always love the promises you make to yourself more than you hate the promises broken by someone else.
Prayer: Dear Father, in Heaven, you alone, keep all promises. Lord, we are faulty on our best days and unmentionable on our worst. Help us to forgive Lord, give us one drop of the Blood of Jesus to melt our hearts. Help us forgive ourselves and forgive others, form boundaries, and keep our promise to love now and through eternity. Amen.
Gratitude Journal – June 8, 2023
Thank you Lord for…
- Getting the regions graded and in the books
- Leaving school early to come home to my boy.
- Finding Z here.
- The air quality is a little better tonight
- Choosing to run at night rather than in the morning
- A nap on the couch
- Keeping my promises to myself.
- Joey Pontarelli firm Restored Ministries writing on the pain of children of divorce.
- The phone call to S