Matthew 5:37 - Speaking with Integrity.
Matthew 5:37 (NLV) All you need to say is
simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything beyond this comes
from the evil one.
God expects us to be known as people who
keep our word. Oaths, or vows, were common, but
Jesus told his followers not to use them--their
word alone should be enough (see James 5:12). Are
you known as a person of your word? Truthfulness
seems so rare that we feel we must end our
statements with "I promise." If we tell the truth all
the time, we will have less pressure to back up
our words with an oath or promise. [Life
Recently our church music director
invited me to help with the Christmas program. My
pulse quickened. It was a project I would have
loved to be involved with. But before saying yes,
I took time to pray.
As I laid this opportunity before Jesus,
He reminded me of all the commitments on my
time. Images of my other responsibilities whirled
through my mind. I had said yes to many projects
recently. It became clear that I needed to decline.
As I prayed, I told Jesus about my
disappointment, maybe hoping He would supernaturally add a
few extra days to my calendar. Couldn't I help
with the Christmas program anyway? After all, it
was a worthy endeavor.
Instead, He reminded me that by stepping
back, I would allow someone else an opportunity.
This verse in Matthew is part of Jesus's
Sermon on the Mount and deals with the problem of
swearing by various things to emphasize truth
telling. But as I grappled with my yes/no dilemma,
Jesus's words in the passage struck me in a
As I follow His priorities for my life,
there are times I should say no. I don't need to
construct lengthy explanations and justifications for
those decisions. Jesus may have purposes for
others that I can't yet see or that I may never
know about. He may be protecting me from heading
in the wrong direction.
After all, no is a good answer too.
Faith Step: When you face a decision
today, bring it to Jesus and accept His answer,
whether yes or no. [Mornings With Jesus 2023
Devotional by Guideposts and Zondervan]
How to Speak the Truth Plainly
Above all, my brothers and sisters, do
not swear - not by heaven or by earth or by
anything else. All you need to say is a simple
Yes or No. Otherwise you will be
condemned. James 5:12 (NIV)
When James tells us not to swear, he's
not talking about profanity. He's talking about
making an oath by referring to something else, as
if you don't have enough integrity in yourself
to keep your own word.
Swearing to God is taking his name
in vain. But you should also never say, I
swear on a stack of Bibles or I swear on my
mother's grave. You cheapen your own integrity
when you have to appeal to something besides your
As a follower of Jesus, your word should
stand on its own. Just speak the truth plainly!
Don't embellish it. Don't shade it. Don't twist
it. If you mean yes, say yes. If you mean
no, say no. Do this even when it feels
like very few people in politics, the media, or
even in your own circle are doing it.
James was not the first person to say
that speaking the truth plainly is the foundation
of all integrity. In fact, his half-brother,
Jesus Christ, said it, and Paul said it too
(anytime God says something three times in Scripture,
you better believe it's important to him).
Paul says, Do you think I am like the
people of the world who say Yes when they
really mean No? As surely as God is faithful,
our word to you does not waver between Yes
and No. For Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
does not waver between Yes and No
(2 Corinthians 1:17-19 NLT).
When so many people seem to be speaking
lies or half-truths, then speaking plainly, with
integrity, will make you countercultural. It will also
make you more like Jesus; he never wavered
between yes and no. Being more Christlike should be
your motivation for having integrity.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,
But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all:
either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the
earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem,
for it is the city of the Great King. And do not
swear by your head, for you cannot make even one
hair white or black. All you need to say is
simply Yes or No; anything beyond this
comes from the evil one (Matthew 5:34-37 NIV).
If you're going to be a faithful disciple
of Jesus Christ, you need to have integrity.
You can start building integrity today by
speaking the truth plainly. [Daily Devotional by Rick
Warren: https://pastorrick.com/devotional/ re Jam.
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY
James 5:12 (NIV) Above all, my brothers, do
not swear--not by heaven or by earth or by
anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No,"
no, or you will be condemned. Devotional
2 Corinthians 1:17-19 (NLT) You may be
asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make
my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like
people of the world who say Yes when they
really mean No? 18 As surely as God is
faithful, my word to you does not waver between
Yes and No. 19 For Jesus Christ, the Son
of God, does not waver between Yes and
No. He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I
preached to you, and as Gods ultimate Yes,
he always does what he says. Devotional
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT