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 
Application SB] 


   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 
different way. 
   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. 
Sharon Hinck 
   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 
own character. 
   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. 


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