“He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.”
The Lord uses the psalmist to answer the questions, “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” (Psalm 15:1). What a worthy ambition for our present life, to abide with our Savior. Our desire is to live life in close fellowship with our great God. In considering the character that God requires of the man or woman that will walk in His presence, our text says that this man or woman must be a person who keeps his commitments. “He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.”
This verse is speaking of a person who “sweareth” or commits himself. We have before us an area of conduct that deserves our attention. We can all agree to the importance of commitments. It is proper to make commitments and it is expected that those commitments be kept. There is something wrong in the character of a person who refuses to commit himself. We make commitments to God and many others. We make commitments to read our Bible and pray. We make commitments to give to God and His work. We make commitments to our loved ones. We make commitments to our spouses. We make commitments to our employer, employees, and to our friends. We make commitments to be faithful to assemble with God’s people.
The phrase “to his own hurt” means that this person will keep his commitments even if it causes him hurt. Commitments are not always easy to keep. This reveals an important matter of character. We must keep our commitments. It is so common for people to promise to do things, and then to go back on their commitments because they find it more difficult than originally thought. He “changeth not,” meaning that no matter what occurs, this person will keep his commitments.
This matter of failing to keep commitments causes the testimony and work of God to suffer immensely. The Bible says, “a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6). This is one of the main requirements God has for those who serve Him. I Corinthians 4:2 says, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” God insists on trustworthiness and honesty in those who walk in His presence and are involved in His work. Christians should have the reputation of being true to their word and honoring their commitments, even when it is costly.