This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.
The Vices And Virtues Of Vowing
The vices of vowing outweigh the virtues, because vowing is built on a misconception of human nature as it really is. If a man had the power to will pure will it would be different, but he has not. There are certain things a man cannot do, not because he is bad, but because he is not constituted to do them. We make vows which are impossible of fulfillment because no man can remain master of himself always; there comes a time when the human will must yield allegiance to a force greater than itself, it must yield to God or to the devil.
Modern ethical teaching bases everything on the power of the will, but we need to recognize also the perils of the will. The man who has achieved a moral victory by the sheer force of his will is less likely to want to become a Christian than the man who has come to the moral frontier of his own need. It is the obstinate man who makes vows, and by the very fulfillment of his vow he may increase his inability to see things from Jesus Christ’s standpoint….
It is not our vows before God that tell, but the coming to God exactly as we are, in all our weakness, and being held and kept by Him. Make no vows at this New Year time, but look to God and bank on the Reality of Jesus Christ.
From God’s Workmanship (emphasis added)
When considering your New Year’s resolutions (or vows, as Chambers calls them), remember these sobering words: “It is the obstinate man who makes vows, and by the very fulfillment of his vow he may increase his inability to see things from Jesus Christ’s standpoint.”
Don’t let your resolutions blind you to seeing how Jesus Christ wants to work through your weaknesses.