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pastor corner

Pastor Jim Jackson

Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church

Right there on the side of Highway 17 where it intersects with I-95 in the South Newport Community. You can see it’s a big sign. If you are in need of a “clean bathroom”, that’s what it promises. Coming off the interstate, the need can be rather pressing or if you are just taking a casual trip on 17. So you pull in and all you see is that sign in front of a canopy where a service station once was. Now this is no time for humor or promises unkept.

Where is the necessary plumbing, a handle that needs giggling or paper products? Not in sight, yet there are some woods behind where the store once resided. Is that where the clean restrooms are?

I mean it looks like the hangout for mosquitoes, no see-ums, or even rattlesnakes.

So here you are standing in the need of prayer. What shall I do? How far is the next rest stop? Did I bring an extra set of clothing? By now, your eyes are tearing up and you heart is racing. This is a sick joke.

Clean restrooms—hah, hah!

Oh--but today providence is kind, for if you look at other side of the road you will see a McDonalds restaurant. Ah, clean restrooms furnished with all you need.

And guess what, if you are careful and not hungry you can slip in and out with no complaints by the employees. Clean restrooms—as welcome as a Big Mac, fries and a Coke. The yellow arches keeps its promises.

All of this tells me we should be careful ourselves in making promises. And we make promises of all kinds: marriages, mortgages, licenses and a multitude more.

The Bible has a thing or two to say about promises. Check out Ecclesiastes 5:5: “It is better not to make a promise than to make one and not keep it.”

And what about Proverbs 20:25? “Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.”It is better not to make a promise than to make one and not keep it.”

When we dare think about it, our whole way of life depends upon making promises and then living by them. Married life begins with promises: “For better or worse…’ In recent years some married couples have chosen to reaffirm their vows by making them a second time in church or otherwise just among friends. I’m confident that’s admirable, but I’m reminded of a friend who said: “I ain’t doing that. I meant it the first time.” Meaning it the first time after seriously considering the cost is vital. Jesus warned by using several examples. In one he talked about committing to build a house and not finishing it.

Result is mockery by all those who pass by. Ambition overstepping itself is worse than embarrassing--it’s costly to our integrity, our believability, and even our self-respect.

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