Oh my word…

I turned on the TV early this morning to find an infomercial well under way for a steam mop.  An hour long infomercial.  Ugh.  I normally group infomercials into the same category as root canals – meaning I don’t do them – but I decided to see just how over the top they were going to go to sell their product.  Not surprisingly, they went over the top and then some.

The first clue is always the demonstrators voice.  High pitched and fast talking.  Like they’d recently inhaled helium.

Then you inevitably hear something like, “But wait, there’s more!”, at least once but usually multiple times, as they proceed to demonstrate their claims in a controlled, staged, environment rather than a real life situation.

It’s also not unusual to hear, “But if you call right now (or in the next sixty seconds), we’ll double your order!  All you have to do is pay the extra shipping!!”


Have you ever wondered how much the extra shipping would cost to receive twice as much product as you even wanted in the first place?  $20  $30?  $40?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to order something just to find out the answer to that question.

The more over the top someone goes to try to sell me on something, the less enthused I become.  It nearly always becomes a case of over promising and under delivering.  The way I see it is, if your product is really that good, it should speak for itself.

I’m sure that, at one time or another, we’ve all purchased something that failed to live up to its hype.  It’s disappointing for us, and it ruins the credibility of the company or person that did the promising.  A lose/lose situation.

Stop for a moment and consider how this premise applies to us as individuals.  How many times do we overextend ourselves and continually have to make excuses for not being able to follow-thru with all our commitments?  Or we say ‘yes’ to something when we really want to say ‘no’, and then spend a whole lot of time trying to figure out how to get out of it?  Or  we promise somebody we’ll do something and then simply forget about it?

Is your word your bond?

That question is directed at myself more than anyone.

We live in a day and age where most people don’t recognize the value of their word.  They’ll make an appointment and then be a ‘no show’.  They’ll say they’ll phone back but they don’t.  They’ll tell someone they’ll have to get together sometime soon but soon never comes.  They’ll tell an elderly relative they’ll drop over for a visit but they not only never do, they never intended to in the first place.  I’ve even known of instances where someone accepted a  new job but never showed up for the first day, or ever.

It’s said that “they’ll know we are Christians by our love”.  I can’t argue with that because it’s true.  But, what about our word?  Will people know we are Christians by our word?   Do we say what we mean and mean what we say?  Do we UPOD (under promise and over deliver)?  Do we stand by our word even and especially when it’s uncomfortable to do so?  Are we known as men and women of integrity?

I’m a person who takes things literally.  If somebody tells me they’re going to do something, I believe them, even if it’s under the faint hope clause.  Most of my disappointments in life have come from someone not following through on their word.

Talk is cheap.  Action is expensive.  Anybody can say anything but actually following through with it involves time, effort, and commitment.

It’s my goal to be the kind of person that I expect to encounter.  I’m trying to be more intentional about what I say, what I promise, and what I commit to.  That being said, I’m aware now, more than ever, of all the times I fall short.  But, it only makes me want to do better the next time.  To be better the next time.

I’m hoping that by being a person of my word, people will realize that there’s something different about me.  That there’s Someone different about me.

Maybe that’s why the Bible is referred to as the “good Book”.  It stands by its word.

So, UPOD people!


And later will come.

You have my word.


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