I will

“I will” speaks of the future. “I will” speaks of action, speaks of decisiveness, speaks of understanding the situation and knowing what to do next. There is power in making a commitment of what we “will do” — it creates a mission statement, of sorts.

One of the major tenets that I adhere to is Yoda’s “Do or do not. There is no try.” When someone says, “I’ll try…” it gives the person an out. Trying let’s failure be an acceptable option. Once the person says, “I will,” their perspective changes and they have a promise to keep. Phillip Sidney, an Elizabethan age poet and scholar said, “Either I will find a way, or I will make one.” My previous blog “Burn the Boats” is another good statement on this subject.

I have followed on social media the site, “Because I Said I Would.” It is dedicated to the “betterment of humanity through promises made and kept.” It is almost a cultural expectation that promises will be broken; think about how many people promise to quit smoking, listen better, have patience, stop judging, volunteer, etc. but then don’t. The consequences of broken promises plague the world. They limit our potential and growth. Promises still matter and a handshake (virtual these days) still means something.

“There is no greater fraud than a promise not kept.”- Scottish proverb

As I am pulling together all the threads that I weave in one of my blogs, I realize that “I will” plays off “I do,” which we typical state during our wedding vows. As I reflected on it a bit more, I concluded that “I will” would make a more meaningful wedding vow. During this reflection, I had a tug at my heart to go back and look at my wedding vows. So, I pulled out the 34-year-old wedding album (as of May 3rd) and sure enough there was “I will,” as well as the word “promises.”


I, Robert, take you, Victoria, to be my wife. I promise to be a loving husband and your best friend. I promise to be a source of strength and a listening ear. I will strive to make you smile, for your smile warms my heart. I will expect only the best of myself, for I believe you deserve the best.

“I Will Survive” is the hit song by Gloria Gaynor, released in October 1978. In 2016, the Library of Congress deemed the song to be “culturally, historically, or artistically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Recording Registry. The song’s lyrics describe the narrator’s discovery of personal strength:

Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive, hey, hey

Last summer I finished hiking the 41 miles of the Maryland AT. A hike I started two years earlier and had to stop because of a physical ailment. I was committed to doing what I said I would. I heard Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec speak twice last year and he states that success is not a function of age, attributes, or background, but a function of willingness. I have previously cited Mike Tomlin, Head Coach Pittsburgh Steelers, comment that it is not what we are capable of doing but what we are willing to do. Denis Waitley, who I have quoted before, said. “The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will and I am.”

The Bible uses the combination “I will” more than 140 times. Some of the most beautiful and powerful of those promises are the words of Jesus. Over thirty times in the New Testament, Christ stated “I will” in extending His promises. This blog post would be twice as long just listing the “I wills,” so I pared it down some of my favorites.

The Five “I Wills” of God in Exodus Chapter 6, is the Confirmation of the Promise to the Ancestors. The LORD is answering Moses regarding Pharaoh enslaving His chosen people, the Israelites:

– I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and will deliver you from their slavery.
– I will redeem you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
– I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.
– I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
– I will give it to you as your own possession.

In the 1860s, Philip Bennett Power wrote a book about the “I wills” of the Psalms. Going through these verses, written by David, a man after God’s own heart, is an incredibly renewing exercise. They give a very practical picture of exactly what God expects from us. There is a cadence to these “I will’s”. They encourage us to keep considering who God is and what He has done. It is a cadence we should pay attention to.

– Psalm 9:2-3 – I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds. I will delight and rejoice in you; I will sing hymns to your name, Most High.
– Psalm 35:18 -Then I will thank you in the great assembly; I will praise you before the mighty throng.
– Psalm 55:17 – But I will call upon God, and the LORD will save me.
– Psalm 77:12-13 – I will recall the deeds of the LORD; yes, recall your wonders of old. I will ponder all your works; on your exploits I will meditate.

When Jesus said, “I Will”, He was not making a promise for His own self-interest but for ours.

– Matthew 4:19 – I will make you fishers of men
– Matthew 11:28 – I will give you rest
– John 6:37 – I will not reject anyone who comes to me
– John 14:14 – If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.
– John 16:22 – I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice

Let’s be decisiveness and understanding; creating our mission statements. Let’s speak of action and what we are willing to do. I appreciate that as long as I know how to love, I will survive. I will expect only the best of myself, for I believe He deserves my best.

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