Word of Honor

HOLD fast to your word, your word needs to be your bond. Joshua 9:18-19
How significant it is to conclude the year focusing on the value of word of honor, or in Spanish, palabra de honor. Our forefathers were noted to hold their words in such esteem that prudence characterized every transaction they made, especially since there were no recorders or videos on which to bank when needed. A simple verbal agreement could warrant forfeiture of property or arrangement of marriage. There was no need for notary public or lawyers to consolidate data or gather evidence of deals that transpired. And although there were disadvantages noted during those times, such as marriages that took place out of compulsion and compromise, the advantages were more prominent. Conducting business was quicker as it was not complicated; level of trust was cultivated; and people were more cautious in the words they would release.

Not so today. Despite the existence of notarized affidavits, public oath-taking ceremonies aired live via satellite, and the threat and shame of imprisonment for holding court in contempt, many people still casually lie and violate their promises. Political candidates who promise liberally before elections just seem to forget everything once elected; husbands who tearfully vow before wedding cheat afterwards; cops who swore to protect people exploit and extort them; and public employees who oath to serve the public get irritated by them. There are senators who trifle on their words and simply laugh at their idiosyncrasies when confronted, and a president who euphemized electioneering as sheer lapse of judgment. Professing belief in God but denying His power, many Filipinos have dwindled into nothing but professional pretenders and liberal liars.

As the year ends and another one begins, we must be reminded how important it is for us to keep our word, not just any word, but word that will bring honor and not shame. We should bring back those times when a man’s word is his bond and promises were not made to be broken. Let us get our notes ready and as the New Year strikes, make positive resolutions that we will strictly adhere to for the rest of our lives. We can begin with a prayer and ask God to reveal what our shortcomings, mistakes, and sins are and then ask Him for the grace to repent and restitute. Next, we open our mouths and confess them, and declare wonderful and good things upon us. Bless the Philippines, the government, the economy, and the entire society with our words, believing that God will empower and put substance to them.

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