Honesty, integrity, and reliability should characterize every Christian. Since God delights in truth, so should his people.
Is it a sin to back out of a commitment? Too often we write off a question like this for being too trivial for discussion. It’s not. It’s not because the topic is addressed in Scripture, leading to an email from one female listener to the podcast, Morgan, a college student. “Hello, Pastor John! I am writing you because there’s a wedding soon for a friend. I previously RSVPed to say I would be there. Now I don’t think I can attend after being told about a school obligation I did not know about until recently.
“The RSVP was formal and has caused me internal conflict about a broader ethical question. James says, ‘Let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation’ (James 5:12). And Jesus said we should not make an oath, but simply say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and stick with it (Matthew 5:34–37). This is, for me, part of a bigger question I have about backing out of commitments. Is it sinful to do so? And in this case, since I already RSVPed, should I honor my first commitment to the wedding at the expense of my college course? How inflexible are our commitments?”