“… But let your yes be yes; and your no, no; lest you fall into condemnation.” James 5:12
In today's society we tend to be so flippant about keeping our word. We make promises we know we cannot keep, not realizing it is an injunction against our very integrity.
Our grandparents used to say, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!" In many instances it was said with a smile; yet, it was a statement placing the person on notice that, the original prank, scheme, or lie would not work a second time in capturing their prey.
Understand that every time we dismiss the words we have given to someone, our integrity is damaged; and, every time our integrity is damaged, our very character takes a fall. Did you know that this concept is a biblical principle? Take a look for yourself in Matthew 5:37 and review the text above found in James 5:12 “… but let your yes be yes; and your no, no...” Trust me, I understand. There is a lot of grey area between yes and no; and, it is really hard to relinquish all that wiggle room in case we change our minds on a particular issue. However, this is exactly the point. It is having an opinion, making a decision, and sticking to it; or, changing your position based on new information coming to light. In any event, you would simply state your new decision, position, or not.
Taking an oath would be unnecessary because our words would be like gold; it would be our bond. Practice saying what you mean, and mean what you say. Respect the value of your own voice, and keep your word. Whether it is to a friend, colleague, adult, or child, if you say it, you should mean it! L.
Study Reference: Matthew 5:37, James 5:12
From:"The Integrity Quotient." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions for Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Yasu & Junko