“All you need to say is simply &lsquoYes’ or &lsquoNo.’”
Are your words trustworthy? Maybe you’ve known someone who was good at making promises. She assured you that she would help you meet the deadline at work. He insisted that he would give you a ride home after practice. They promised to visit you more often. But life got in the way. She had too much of her own work to do. He forgot that you were waiting in the parking lot. They got busy with their own friends. They broke their promises, and it became harder for you to trust them.
Keeping our word matters. Jesus warns us here that we can easily fool ourselves into believing we are truthful people as long as we don’t swear oaths we cannot keep. Jesus urges us to recognize that we not only must speak the truth but also represent the one who calls himself the Truth. God’s eye is on us not only when we invoke his name by swearing an oath; every word we speak is spoken in God’s presence. That’s why Jesus says oaths are not necessary. Our integrity and character should be such that our words are trustworthy even if they are not accompanied by an oath.
The gospel alone gives us courage to be people of truth. God’s truth about us is that we are fallen people—and yet he loves us enough to go to the cross for us. How will God’s truth and love motivate you to live the truth today?
Jesus, you are truth in the flesh. Sometimes in the way we live, we don’t represent the truth well. Give us the courage to be people who speak the truth—and mean it. Amen.
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