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Let Your Yes Be Yes?

Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes of the people of Israel, saying, “This is what the Lord has commanded. If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. Numbers 30:1-2

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil." Matthew 5:33-37 I hear from many older folks that it used to be a man's handshake and word was all that was needed. Now a days, it seems like you need a contract, in triplicate, notarized and signed by 3 witnesses for either party JUST to get someone to do a simple task. Biblically speaking, someone's word is very important. Let's think about why, for a moment. In Israel, who did they represent to their neighbors and to the rest of the world? For God's people to deal falsely was not merely a sin against one's neighbor, but it was a direct allegation against God Himself; His representatives proved false, and thus His plea for all nations to return wasn't a strong case as made by His followers. In the same way, Jesus said (my paraphrase) "Don't make any vows at all! If you're going to say that you'll do something, do it!" If you say you'll do something, vow or swear, and then break your word, you're being a bad witness for Christ. Jesus did all He said He would do, and He will fulfill all that He promised for the future. If we represent Him, then it is imperative that we take on His nature: we keep our word. I admit, sometimes I put more on my plate than I can handle. I think most of us do. We even have good intentions when we promise to do things that either we can't do, or don't intend to do. We seek to spare someone's feelings, and so we either over extend ourselves, or we don't fulfill what we say. How are people supposed to feel about Jesus if His followers don't keep their word? It's not a big deal to the rest of the world, but to us, it should be. We're not to look like the world, we're supposed to look like Jesus. Let us then, like Jesus make our "yes" be yes and our "no" be no. Keep your word, as Jesus kept His. Watch how people respond to Him when you talk about His goodness as your character proves Him to be truth! My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin,we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if wekeep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.By this we may know that we are in him:whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.1 John 2:1-6

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