Text: — James 5:12 — 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. [NIV84]
The Big Idea: The extended resume or any reinforcing words are only needless.
Sadly, I have a vivid memory of starting out as my oldest daughter’s softball coach. As I introduced myself to the team, I offered my extended sports resume. I did this thinking I would impress the parents. But it didn’t take long to sense it was having a reverse effect. I had to do a lot of back peddling.
This is what happens, lifestyle worshipers, when we do not keep it simple. A simple “Yes,” or “No” is all that is needed. The extended resume or any reinforcing words (be they four letters or more, like “I swear this is true”) are not only needless, they could be far worse. James is only echoing our Lord Jesus, Who also said, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Mt. 5:37 NIV84).
One way to keep it simple is to simply keep our word, be it a “Yes” or a “No.” Then we will be known as people of integrity and have no need to reinforce anything we say with any oath or resume.
What ways have you found best to keep it simple? Your thoughts?
Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
—Colossians 3:8 (NIV84)
Lord Jesus Christ, keep me from becoming indignant as I put You on as my Shoes of the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace. May I be a peacemaker who sows in peace waiting on a harvest of Righteousness. In Your Name, Amen.