The Things I Said I’d Never Do

“An inner vow, by definition, is a personal determination made as a reaction to an event; the reaction may or may not have ever been verbalized. The nature of the inner vow is such that it takes the form of  ‘I will never…’ or  ‘I will always….’  or some other statement of our will.”  Notes from my time in intensive prayer counselling a few years ago.

I remember telling my counselor, “I really don’t think ‘inner vows’ applies to me.  I cannot think of any that I have.

If she didn’t outwardly shriek at the preposterousness of my statement, I heard it in her reply as she began to rattle off a string of things that she knew I truly believed about life and it was like she was reading right off the pages of my soul {my mind, will and emotions}. 

Inner vows = not good things.

Inner vows = personal declarations designed to protect my own heart and make myself “better” than some person who has wronged me in the past.  They are just sinful (usually quite judgemental) responses to life’s realities in all their glory. No bueno.

I can’t even tell you, now.  Not without just really exposing myself.  But I had a truckload of inner vows.  I probably still do.  But it takes time to break those agreements with the woundedness of your own (highly deceitful) heart.  There were just so many.  Hundreds, maybe.  I won’t ever…I will always….so pride-rooted.  I mean, I used to know EVERYTHING.  Bad fruit ahead!

I read somewhere that in his lifetime, David, a man after God’s own heart, broke every one of the Ten Commandments.  But I can’t judge him.  I’ve broken my own share.  I am not the perfect person I had planned to be.  I thought, because of everything I had seen throughout my life, I’d be better, better at everything.  I’d be a better employee or employer, a better parent and wife, a better church member and friend.  And by sheer will I thought there were mistakes and foul-ups I’d never make. Not ever.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do…” And ETCETERA! [Romans 7.15-16]

Thank-you, Paul, for writing that in Romans.  Because, you know – you were like 30+ years in the faith when you wrote it and it soothes my mind to know you still struggled, too.  I don’t want to be the only one. {and pride rears its ugly head again…}

If I kept track of the times I ended up doing all the things I said I’d never do, for the times I meant to do something righteous that I never got around to, the score would be about a million to a million. 

So much for my ability to save myself. 

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