Question:

Hello, I am having real trouble with something at the moment, I fear that I have made a vow/oath to God that I really don't want to keep. The vow does not contain anything sinful, I fear I said "I would give up my hobby." The hobby is not sinful and I really like my hobby, I do not treasure it over Christ but I really don't want to give up my hobby at all. I fear because I might have promised to give up my hobby to God this means that I must give up my hobby. I have prayed to God and said I repent of making the vow, it was silly as I have no intention of fulfilling it if I made it to God. As I have said the hobby I have is not sinful and could be classed as neural (not good nor bad). I have since partaken in my hobby and so have gone against the vow I didn't mean which was "I would give up my hobby," so here are my questions:

Because I have gone against my vow and have broken it by doing my hobby, does this mean if I repent I have to continue to keep my vow? That is to say if I repent I have to go back to keeping my vow to "give up my hobby"? Or will God have already accepted my repentance of making the vow in the first place, I shouldn't have done it as I didn't want to give up my hobby.

I read elsewhere on your web site you state: "We know not in all situations promises are bad, but we also must understand that they should not be needed if we are following Christ -- only under certain circumstances when it is required by law or by God." [When are promises binding?]. If I understand this correctly you are saying I shouldn't need to make promises, I shouldn't make promises. You then go on to say that only under the law or by God I should make promises but only if they are needed. I really don't want to give up my hobby, I want to repent of making the foolish vow I just hope this is possible.

God's blessings and I await your reply


Answer:

What is missing is why you thought you could bribe God by promising to give up something you like. People foolishly get into their head that they can get God to answer their prayer by offering neglect. "Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations -- "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using -- according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh" (Colossians 2:20-23). God doesn't listen to people because of what they want to sacrifice. He hears the prayers of the righteous -- those who put God's will first in their life. "The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous" (Proverbs 15:29).

The whole foundation of what you tried to do was wrong. It doesn't matter what you thought you were offering. It doesn't matter whether you think it is a good, bad, or neutral thing.

Now that the "crisis" is over, you want to change the terms. Again, what is missing is the background to this story. You are caught up in the details, but there is more here than you are revealing. Because of this gap, I can't answer your question because I think there is something critical that you are leaving out.

What Jesus said is that Christians are people of their word. "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one" (Matthew 5:37). We don't need elaborate promises, vows, or oaths to keep our word. Christians are to be always honest, which means we simply do exactly as we stated, promised or not.

At the very least, you need stop thinking you can manipulate God.