Ki Tetzei(Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19)
You Are Your Word
In this week's Torah portion, Moses tells the Jewish people of many laws they need to observe. One of the laws that are of utmost importance is when it comes to making a vow to God. Regarding this, Moses said:
"You shall observe and carry out what emerges from your lips..." (Deuteronomy 23: 24)
A LIFE LESSON
If one were to make a vow or promise to God, it is something that must be fulfilled. While there are ways in Jewish law to have these vows annulled, nonetheless, the intent when one makes the vow is that he or she plans on honoring it.
Sadly, most people today speak with little or no regard for carrying out the words they say to someone else. It's incredible just how often someone will say something with which he has absolutely no intention whatsoever of following through. Also, since the Torah is a guidebook for living, how does keeping your word lead to having a happy and fulfilling life?
The answer is that when someone keeps his word, he will actually experience a great amount of pleasure. The reason for this is that a person can only feel good about himself when he makes good choices. Making poor choices will inevitably give a person a low self-image, whereby making positive and healthy choices will make him feel great about himself.
When you follow through with the most simplest of declarations, like "I'll be there at 8:00 PM," it shows that you value your word and what you say is important to you. But here's the thing - the only way you'll care about keeping your word is if you care about yourself. But the reverse is just as true - the more you keep your word, the better you'll feel about yourself. This is actually self-esteem math; it works every time.
When you honor what you say - no matter what it might be - you're actually making a bold statement of just how important your word is. And again, the reason keeping your word makes you feel terrific is that only someone who has a high self worth cares about following through with what he says. The more you do what it is that you say you'll do - even the most simplest of commitments - you'll increasingly feel better and better about yourself.
So always keep your word. If not for the person to whom you're speaking, then do it for yourself. Because over time, it will just make you feel amazing.