Focus verse: Matt. 5:34, 37 “… do not swear at all … let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’.”
Does placing a hand on the Bible and swearing “to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” prevent dishonesty or make what we say more true? How ironic that our judicial system has people swear by the very book that says not to swear. Truth doesn’t need any help and a lie cannot stand regardless how hard one tries to prop it up. Jesus said not to swear at all.
Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’. After we speak, our integrity is put to the test. People will figure out if you are just talking the talk and not walking the walk. On our wedding day, my wife and I said a “yes” that carries a lifetime responsibility. Our actions will reveal if we are reliable.
Here’s a story that Jesus told in Matthew 21:28-31: “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” This story exposes the hypocrisy of saying the right things but not doing them.
We should be slow to speak. Jesus said in Matthew 12:36-37: “… for every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.”
In stark contrast to the rashness of Israel’s first king Saul, Samuel, the last judge of Israel, was a good example of someone who didn’t waste words. 1 Samuel 3:19 says: “Samuel … let none of his words fall to the ground.” No word he spoke went unfulfilled. Could that be said of us?
- If we asked your children or peers if you mean what you say, how would they answer? Next Week’s Scripture: Matthew 5:38-42