This week I received an e-invitation to a party that required I check the appropriate box: Yes, Maybe, or No.
No seemed a little harsh, but Yes was such a commitment! The event is about three weekends away, and what if something comes up-like a long lost aunt phoning me to say that by some fluke her beachfront condo is available and she would really like me to have it for that whole weekend?
But it feels tacky to keep your options open just in case a better offer comes along. At the present moment, I have no plans for the weekend in question, and though I hardly know the inviters, it seems like it would be pleasant to spend two hours with them.
I have a friend who works in the communications department of a seminary, and she sends out lots of invitations, to fundraisers and such. Her experience is that a Yes means Maybe and a Maybe means No. Yeses of our culture are on par with the proverbial "Let's do lunch." Maybes are a manner of letting the inviters down easy, rather than clobbering them with the harshness of a flat-out No. But:
"Oh Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? . . . He who . . . swears to his own hurt and does not change . . ." (Psalm 15:1-4).
Keeping a commitment that is no longer convenient or appealing is hard. But the integrity of your word and your name are at stake. The Apostle Paul was bullish about not being loosey-goosey with his words (2 Corinthians 1:17-20).
Jesus never goes back on His word, or makes excuses-like that "something came up," or "I didn't remember I told you that," or "I would have helped you but there were extenuating circumstances."
"All the promises of God find their Yes in him" (2 Corinthians 1:20).
Nice to know that in these days there is Someone in your life who is a sure Yes is not a Maybe.