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Commitment: Dealing with Broken Promises


People are imperfect by nature. Allowances can be made whenever we encounter a new person or someone who really means well, but falls short of his or her word.

I have found people get really excited when amazing things are happening and seem to think,”How can I be involved (in this amazing happening)?” Typically, if they feel so inclined, they may make a commitment, of some sort. Time, ability, and finance are all types of commitments people regularly make to whatever cause they deem “worthy.” That’s all fine and dandy. It’s all gravy when those committed individuals fulfill their promises. The challenge lies in the unfulfilled promise. What are we to do when people break promises to us?

Recently, having encountered the latter matter, I felt I should assist those who lean towards being disappointed, condemning, and hater-like.

Forgive the person who broke the vow. Often times, people are overextended in some other ways and simply didn’t account well for whatever commitment they made. I know it sounds simple, but that’s typically what happens. Don’t hold it against them. All types of things happen in people’s lives. I know this can take time, but being willing to forgive helps. You never know when you may need a measure of the same grace.

Never bring it up again (if it can be avoided) after forgiving them. When we forgive someone, we restore the standard to whatever it was before the commitment was broken. Now, I’m not saying we blindly trust the person again if we endure significant hardship or loss because of their unfaithfulness. Nor am I suggesting we forget. However, if we really forgive, we release them from all consequence of their poor judgment. (Please use your discretion as to whether or not they can be trusted again). Most people aren’t out for our lights.

Set boundaries. We have to be responsible for our own emotions. We own them, so no one can “make us feel” any particular way. We have responsibility, authority and power over every emotion we feel, so let us not unscrupulously give our power away. Understanding that whatever is going on with the unfaithful individual, is going on with him or her. Not you; and makes no mark against how awesome you are. You are still awesome! Don’t forget it.

Judge Character. Often times, people tell us exactly who they are through word and action. If we are objective, deliberate, quiet and employ the skill of observation, we can often avoid situations with the unfaithful. Not always, but frequently enough.

When all else fails, ask God what to do. He always knows. Sometimes, the commitment breakers are in our lives to teach us important spiritual lessons and sharpen us in ways we would not have otherwise been sharpened, so trust God. Always ask Him.

He’s always able to heal and recover whatever was broken by the careless or unfaithful people passing through our lives. With Him, anything we lose was never worth keeping.

Kwjuana Thomas

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