When building a team for a project, one of my old bosses used to refer to potential team members by their “do/say ratio” — meaning (in case its not obvious) that the reliability and usefulness of an employee could be determined by this measure. If someone has a poor do/say ratio, it means they don’t often do what they say they will.
I would like to think that I have a high do/say ratio — because people who don’t are one of my pet peeves. I would like to think that if you ask me to do something, and I say yes, then its going to happen — and it’ll happen roughly when I say it will. I may fall short of that mark, but I hope that if someone were keeping score, it would be apparent that I do what I say I will most of the time.
I’ve noted, however, that some people don’t share this value in common with me. That more and more frequently a committment isn’t a firm thing, or reliable in any way. That signing up for an activity or group doesn not necessarily indicate a willingness to make it there. That volunteering for a task does not necessarily mean the task will get done. That full grown adults seem to think “yes” and “no” are malleable words — ones that take a different meaning depending on the day they were said and the time between the making of the committment and the fulfillment of it.
The Bible has very clear instruction on this. Matthew 5:37 says “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
I think, whether you’re a Christian or not, this seems like a good principle to base your life on. And I sure wish more people out there would do so. And if I don’t? Feel free to call me on that…