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Following through: let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’comment (0)

August 9, 2012

By Jean Roberson

I was in a Bible study several weeks ago when we turned to the parable of the two sons found in Matthew 21:28–32. You probably know the passage. 

Jesus contrasts two sons. One refuses to fulfill the father’s command but changes his mind and does as he was asked. The second agrees to obey but fails to do so. Jesus then asks which one actually did the father’s will. The reply is the first who ultimately obeyed in action.

Because of the content of this passage and where it is located, I always thought the lesson focuses on the importance of obedience to God, demonstrated by our actions. The point I took away was that God pays as much attention, if not more, to our actions of obedience than our intentions. 

For me this has meant following through on my promises to God and being willing to follow God’s leadership wherever it led me. I made the commitment to do so, so God expects follow through.

But what happens if we take this teaching and apply it to our families and our workplace? 

When you look at your actions at home, which do you want to be measured by? Your actions or your intentions? Do you sometimes feel misunderstood? Do you mean to listen or spend more time with your family or do you actually do it? Do you mean to be slow to anger or do you actually do it?  

What about at work? Are you known for your actions and your implementation? Or are you known for your ideas and speeches that never become reality? Are you consistent with who you are and what you say you will do? 

At church, do you offer to help with something only to respond that it does not fit into your calendar? Do you mean to send that card or make that call but life gets in the way?

Too often we excuse ourselves from following through. We know our own intentions and our own hearts. We meant to do something. We intended to follow through. At the time we were sincere and honest and truly meant it. Surely that must count for something. 

However, no one else can see our hearts. It does not matter how close someone is to you. How that person experiences you is through your actions, your words and deeds. 

Perhaps one practical application of this passage of Scripture is that, in our relationships and various roles, we are accountable for our ultimate obedience and our ability to follow through.  

Truly, this is easier said than done. But what if that became how we measure ourselves? We might become more judicious about what we offer and, at the same time, more consistent with what we say.

A Takeaway Value …

Follow through. Let your yes be yes and your no be no.  


EDITOR’S NOTE — Jean Roberson, MSW, LCSW, is a ministry consultant for national Woman’s Missionary Union. She serves as team leader for the adult team and director of Christian Women’s Job Corps/Christian Men’s Job Corps and International Initiatives.

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