What is a promise? It is a pledge or an assurance given by one person to other that he/she will act exactly as promised. The other person can rest assured that the promise will not be broken under any circumstances. In this case, circumstances word is very significant. Because even if the promise is made in total sincerity, the circumstances are taken as an excuse for breaking them.
At times, the cost of keeping the promise unbroken can be very high. But no matter what is that cost, the breaking of a promise is a bigger sin. By breaking a promise, we hurt the other party. We kill the faith of the other party in humanity and its words. One must think about the value of the promise for the one to whom it was made. Why do we promise something to someone? Because both the parties agree that if the promise is broken, the other person will be hurt. Why is the promise accepted? The promise is accepted only if one who makes the promise is believed to be a truthful and honest person. No one believes upon the promises made by liars.
Let us look at a scenario. Say, a wife makes a promise to her husband. The wife is going out for a long period and the husband is promised that whatever may be the temptation, or need, she will never indulge in any activity that hurts him. The husband takes his wife’s word as a gospel truth and feels very happy and proud about her. What if she breaks the promise at the first opportunity? What if she lies to him about that, after he gets a hint that she has broken the promise? And what if she defends herself about breaking the promise and lying by accusing the husband and asking him if he never lied or broke a promise? Imagine the hurt she will give to her husband with her action. If he is a simple and innocent person who believes that everyone in the world is like him? He will be devastated forever. Even if the wife breaks the relationship after breaking the promises, so that she does not have to explain her conduct and feel sorry about that, she would have succeeded in breaking not only a promise, but devaluing a honest person in all the possible ways. I don’t know if you believe in hell, but if there is one, this wife will be sent to that hell forever. This example talks of a wife. This is equally true about husbands, and even amongst friends. A promise is sacrosanct. To break a promise given to a honest person, who has accepted that promise in all sincerity is like hitting a small kid repeatedly. Why I use the repeatedly, because whenever the husband remembers about the broken promise, he will experience the same hurt again. He will be a changed person forever, and doomed to live a life of pain that overflows from his heart.
Some people are childlike and they still believe that the world is full of truthful and honest people. They have yet not realized that the reality is contrary. If one makes a promise to such a person and breaks it easily as if it never mattered, one may not be hauled before the court of law for killing a person’s spirit, but the crime is equal.