Making It Count
Verse 12 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.
Yesterday we saw the patience of Job and today James gives us another reminder of a way we can be faithful to God.
Not unlike today people in James’ day were given to the bad habit of swearing on things to prove the truth of the statement. We have likely all heard, or maybe even made comments, such as, “I swear on my mother’s grave” or maybe “on a stack of Bibles…” some even use God’s name as the binding factor to their statement. James was trying to help his readers understand the danger and even the sin of making these statements, as they are often said very flippantly.
James has been talking about God’s faithfulness and our need to hold to it and so he is showing that if we are to be true reflections of God and His ways we shouldn’t need to swear on Him or some earthly thing to show we are speaking truth. James is trying to help his readers, then and now, understand the importance of integrity in our speech.
It is so easy to say we will do “such and such” and then totally forget because we weren’t intentional about remembering. The more we do this, the less people find us reliable. Yes, there are times of unintentional mistakes but we are talking more about the consistent not following through on what we have said.
Jesus could be trusted because He never told a lie. But He could also be trusted because He never misled anyone. When He said He will do something we can know that He will. This is where it starts tying in with this portion of James’ letter. If we remember from a few days back we were talking about knowing that Jesus was coming again. Why? Because He said He would. This is how we know it will happen.
It is with this same level of integrity that Jesus desires His followers to live. James is reminding us that to reflect Jesus means making sure our word is truth. So we need to think before we speak and only say, “yes” or “no” as would be pleasing to Christ.
Making It Personal
Do you struggle in the area of saying yes but not following through? What is usually the reason for your not following through? What can you follow through on today?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever told someone you would do something and then didn’t do it? Why is it important to Jesus that you do what you say you are going to do? What do you need to keep your word about today?
Father, thank You for being faithful, allowing us to know that we can always depend on You and what You say. Help us to reflect You in this way. In Jesus’ name, amen.