We have all either had this done to us or we have done it to others. Here’s the scenario: You said you would babysit Friday night, but then you got invited to do something more fun, so you flaked out, leaving the parents high and dry. Or you said you would help with the set-up for the party, but you got a headache and needed a nap instead. You said you would show up at 2 p.m., but you arrived at 3:30. You said you would bring dessert, but you got too rushed for time and decided you couldn’t do it. You accepted the invitation to the wedding, but then you decided it would make your day too congested, so you were a no-show.
It’s easy to flake. And Christians in particular can do it to one another and presume that fellow Christians will overlook it, be understanding, and let it go. After all, we are commanded to be forgiving, to go the extra mile, and to let love cover it. But all those verses apply to both parties, not just to one.
Flaking means that your word cannot be trusted. “But I was just volunteering. It wasn’t like a paid job.” But that just makes it worse. You offered. You committed. You said you would be there. You spoke carelessly.
Sometimes moms step in on behalf of their children and flake for them. “Susie can’t babysit after all because she was invited to go to the beach.” But if you want your daughter to grow up to be dependable, you will tell Susie in no uncertain terms that she is not allowed to be a flake. If she said she would do it, then she must follow through. That’s what Christians do. Too bad for the beach. You’re busy. You’re calendar is full.
If you decide that you must not be a flake and that your children must be taught not to be flakes, then you will learn to pause before making commitments. This is always good. Say you’ll think about it. Consider. Don’t make hasty commitments and don’t allow your children to do so either. But if you do, or if they do, then unless it is an emergency (with the bone sticking out), you are obligated to follow through.
You said you’d help with the kids’ field trip, but the sun was shining, and you thought it would be fun to work in the garden instead. You simply cannot flake out. Your word should be dependable, trustworthy, and reliable. Don’t be a flake. And don’t let your kids grow up to be flakes. I’m pretty sure God doesn’t like it.