Do for God what you said you’d do— he is, after all, your God. Psalm 76:11 (MSG)
When I was a young teen, our church would hold its annual money drive. As I remember, there would be a sermon about the importance of giving your tithes and offerings to God. This was followed by everyone finding the box of offering envelopes in the back of the sanctuary with your name on it. I would make my commitment to giving some of my paper route money to church. It usually wasn’t a huge commitment, but it was a commitment.
I would do great with my offering for a week or two. This was usually followed by a week in which I spent my entire paper route income on something I really wanted. I’d feel guilty as the plate passed by, and recommit myself to giving double the following week. Giving double proved a tougher chore than I guessed. There were so many things I needed like pop out of the machine after school. Another week the plate would be passed and I would watch it go. Now I was really behind. There was no way I could catch up.
So, I gave up giving for a long, long time.
I realize that, through the years, I’ve made some unrealistic commitments to God. My bad. I have also made very realistic commitments and never carried through. My bad again. Sometimes I get into the mindset of saying, "I’m so far beyond what I committed that I can’t go back." I put this little wall up between me and God, hoping that he won’t remember my broken commitments. I’m ashamed. If I bring this up again, God’s going to be really angry.
Then I remember the story of the Prodigal Son (isn’t interesting that "prodigal" means "wasteful"?), and I remember that I have a Heavenly Father just waiting to welcome me back. I went back and started giving again. Then I did it again, and again. Then a few more times until it became a habit and a discipline.
God knows. He always knows. He knows that we’re in process. He always forgives. He restores. He gives us fresh starts. We just have to make the choice to return, and do what we said we’d do.